Wilbur is a sweet pig with a big problem. He’s, well, a pig. And no matter how delightful of a friend he is to young Fern, the young girl who saves him from a tragic early end, or Charlotte, the spider who lives in the barn, he’s still going to end up as Christmas dinner. That is, unless Charlotte can think of a way to save him. . . .
Confession: I’ve never read this book until now. Yes, I know that makes me a weirdo–who hasn’t read Charlotte’s Web?, you may ask. Well, me, that’s who. However, since it was the winner of the Great Berryville Read and is now officially our town’s favorite book, I decided to remedy my ignorance. And I’m glad I did.
One thing I really enjoyed about Charlotte’s Web is though it is a children’s book–and I can easily see why it appeals to children–I thought it held up well for an adult reader. I have read a fair amount of kids’ books that I know I would have enjoyed as a child, but they felt like a slog as an adult.
Charlotte’s Web, meanwhile, was a fast, delightful read–with interesting characters, a vivid sense of place, a thought-provoking theme, a famously bittersweet ending, and a sense of humor that pleasantly surprised me. It also doesn’t hurt that, as befits a man who wrote a classic treatise on style and the English language, E.B. White’s prose is exquisite.
Wilbur is the focus of the book, but Charlotte is perhaps the most interesting character, one who teaches the young, naive piglet important life lessons about friendship and first impressions. The rest of the characters are fun, too–I especially enjoyed the Greek chorus of barnyard animals, from the shifty rat to the quirky geese to the smug sheep.
So . . . in honor of Berryville’s favorite read, pick up Charlotte’s Web, whether it’s for the first time or the tenth time. You won’t regret it. 🙂
And don’t forget to catch our special Charlotte’s Web float in the Berryville Christmas Parade on December 1st! 🙂
Recommended for those who enjoy Kenneth Grahame’s work.
As always, to learn more about a book or to place it on hold, please follow this link to our online library catalog.
What’s your favorite E.B. White book? What book that you should have read as a child haven’t you read? What’s your favorite children’s book as an adult? Tell us in the comments!