Great Illustrated Books

Charlotte's Web

By E. B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams

HarperCollins, 2001
Pages : 192
Suggested Ages: 5 and Up
ISBN: 9780061124952

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" eight-year-old Fern Arable asks her mother at breakfast, and from that first line, we're pulled right into a masterfully told story filled with compassion, humor, and heart. Yes, Fern saves the runt of the litter, but it's not just a story about a girl and her piglet. Never sticky or sweet or obvious, it's about friendships and sacrifices and heroes of the barnyard, and even death. Spider saves pig. What more is there to say about this American classic? How many of us acquired empathy for arachnids because of Charlotte A. Cavatica, the loquacious spider who wove written messages in her web ("Some Pig," "Terrific," and Radiant") so Wilbur would be spared? Sure, it's been made into a movie—two, in fact—but nothing beats the original book. Written more than 50 years ago, it continues to enchant children and their parents, even generating more than 400 reader's comments on Amazon over the past decade.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Berger, Melvin. Spinning Spiders. HarperCollins, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0064452076

DiCamillo, Kate. The Tale of Despereaux. Candlewick, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0763625290

King-Smith, Dick. Babe, the Gallant Pig. Crown, 1985. ISBN-13: 978-0375829703

King-Smith, Dick. Lady Lollipop. Candlewick, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0763621810

King-Smith, Dick. Pigs Might Fly. Viking, 1982. ISBN-13: 978-0140345377

Murawski, Darlyne A. Spiders and Their Webs. National Geographic, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0792269793

Critics have said

"In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things."

"It is a wonderful story filled with humor and examples of what it really means to be a friend. "

"As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done."
Eudora Welty