Review of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

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Review of Charlotte's Web by E.B. White with bonus vocabulary list

by White, E. B.. Illustrated by Garth Williams. (HarperCollins, 1999 ISBN 0060263857.). Novel. Fiction.


When a young farm girl named, Fern, finds out that her dad is about to kill the runt pig from the new litter of pigs, she runs to the aid and rescue of this small pig. Her dad sees that Fern genuinely cares about the pig, so he lets her keep him as a pet. This begins the everlasting friendship between Fern and Wilbur, but also between Wilbur and his other farm friends.

20 Vocabulary Words: 

  • Runt
  • Reconsider
  • Enchanted
  • Trough
  • Salutations
  • Hysterics
  • Gullible
  • Terrific
  • Sensational
  • Humble
  • Radiant
  • Extraordinary
  • Languish
  • Sentiments
  • Friendship
  • Hallowed
  • Manure
  • Trousers
  • Paradise
  • Descend


“Charlotte’s Web” is a book that has delighted many generations. As you read the book, you become intrigued by the characters and their very distinct personalities. Within every chapter, you are hanging on, wondering what’s going to be the fate of Wilbur. Will he get killed by Winter, or won’t he? As the book goes on, the reader becomes invested in the characters, making the ending such a tear-jerker.

What I particularly enjoy about “Charlotte’s Web” is the good, clean storyline. I’m glad there aren’t words that we see so commonly in books these days; words like “stupid” or “idiot”. I recently read this book to my 5 year old, and each night he was so sad that it ended. The vocabulary and tone of the story really bring about a calm feeling among readers. The descriptive words help readers imagine the story in their minds. This was the first chapter book we read with our 5 year old, and I think it’s a great one to start with. As you read, point out the vocabulary words, and expand on those for your child to understand.

“Charlotte’s Web” has affected everyone. To this day, I still don’t look at a spider, and NOT think of Charlotte. This book is a great story of friendship, and I love how carefully and skillfully the cycle of life was handled. A great message of hope is portrayed through this book, while showing how the unlikely group of animals come together to help one another; it’s a true story of friendship. 

The beautiful thing about “Charlotte’s Web” is that it can be understood by readers of all ages. Even if you’re child is not old enough to read on his/her own, it’s a great book for shared reading time each night before bed. If you don’t feel like your child can handle the death of a beloved character, then I don’t recommend reading this until they are old enough to understand the cycle of life. Overall, I think any child would enjoy this book because of the story line, the beautiful illustrations, and the familiarity of farm animals they may already know.

About Erica Leggiero

Erica is the owner of eLeMeNO-P Kids, a company specializing in wooden, Montessori-inspired toys, "green" products, and nursery décor for your little one. You can shop her Website. Come join in the fun on  FacebookTwitter, and her Blog. Need ideas for homeschooling, sensory play, fine motor skills, and more? Join us on Pinterest.


  1. Great pick! Might I suggest checking out the audio version at your local library? It’s narrated by E.B. White himself, and it’s awesome. His own calm and soothing words coming from his very own calm and soothing voice – it’s just fantastic.

  2. wonderful book that is well loved by young and old.
    I like your list of vocabulary words.

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