Friday, January 23, 2009

Charlotte's Web

by E.B. White
audio book read by E.B. White

An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads "Some Pig," convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. 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.

I grew up without ever reading this book, but I have fond memories of watching the cartoon on my grandmother's bed. It's been years since then, but it seems to me that the movie stuck fairly close to the book. I am actually rather impressed.

I love listening to authors read their own works. I think there is something special about it. And, I thought Mr. White did a really good job. I love his voice, which is a big positive for a narrator of a book :)

Is it terrible to say that I found Wilbur rather annoying? His voice was whiny, and most of what he says is rather obnoxious. However, I really enjoyed his thought processes as it came to Charlotte. Starting with wondering how he can be friends with someone so blood-thirsty, to the eventual love and devotion he has for someone that always treats him so well (and is so patient with him!). I really liked Charlotte, though I can't say I understand why she took such an interest in Wilbur. She is full of wisdom and big words. I thought it was kind of odd that someone how greets people with "salutations!" has a hard time coming up with good descriptive words. That may be a bit nit-picky though. The other barnyard characters (especially Templeton, who was much grumpier in the book) simply add to this rather enjoyable story.

This was a fun, quick read (or listen). I can see myself reading it to any future kids we may end up with.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Has anyone seen the new(er) movie with Dakota Fanning? Is it worth checking out?


Kim said...

I've never read this either. I remember watching the movie as a child too. I think I cried. Since this is a Newbery winner (right?) I know I'll read it eventually.

KT said...

It won a Newbery honor - I think its loss is still considered the biggest coup in Newbery history (the winner was Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark, which I haven't read)