The Children’s Book Review | January 14, 2016
Written by E.B. White
Illustrated by Garth Williams
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Early edition (April 10, 2012)
What to expect: Barnyard Animals, Friendship, Life and Death, Love, and New Beginnings
Charlotte’s Web is is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. It has sold more than 45 million copies and has been translated into 23 languages. It is about a barnyard pig named Wilbur that can talk, a barn spider named Charlotte that can write, and a young girl named Fern that stands up for her beliefs. Born the runt of his litter, energetic Wilbur risks losing his life at the mercy of the farmer, Mr. Zuckerman. Charlotte comes up with an amazing plan to save Wilbur’s life: she writes powerful messages in her web to help convince the farmer that Wilbur should live. Readers will learn what it means to be a friend in this beautiful and powerful story about friendship, life and death, love, and new beginnings.
From grammar to the tenderness in which this story is delivered, E. B. White’s writing is so perfect. It’s no wonder that Charlotte’s Web is a Newbery Honor Book (1953) and won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (1970), among other awards. And Garth William’s muted illustrations are entirely without fault. Whether read aloud or solo, this is a book well deserving of it’s “classic” status.
Add this book to your collection: Charlotte’s Web
About the Author
E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.
Mr. White’s essays have appeared in Harper’s magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man’s Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”
During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, “No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life—there is also the life of the imagination.”
About the Illustrator
Garth Williams’s classic illustrations for the Little House books caused Laura to remark that she “and her folks live again in these pictures.” Garth Williams also illustrated Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and almost one hundred other books.
Charlotte’s Web, written by E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, was reviewed by Bianca Schulze. Discover more books like Charlotte’s Web by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Classics, E. B. White, Farm Life, Friendship, Garth Williams, Loss, and New Beginnings.