Fern lives on a farm and has a special spot in her heart for a little pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a shy, bashful pig, and one day discovers a spider named Charlotte who he discovers making a web in the corner of his stall.
Charlotte has a way with words (literally) and soon Wilbur and her are friends and causing quite a scene in the barnyard.
As Wilbur fears what will happen to him as after all, he is a pig on a farm… Charlotte helps him discover his true potential and self-worth.
Certainly, hopefully, you have spent time with this amazing book. I did several times as a child, and today I spent time with it again. Why? Today kicks off the 2011 Banned Books Week… and yes, Charlotte and Wilbur have done gone and got themselves on this list. More on that at the bottom of this post.
Originally I thought the re-reading of this book would go quickly and perhaps I would even just skim through it enough to capture the memories…
it didn’t quite go like that.
I had forgotten about how Fern had saved Wilbur’s life when he was a runt. I had forgotten about the geese saying everything three times… and I had forgotten how Wilbur fainted when he was scared. I always knew this was a good book… I had forgotten it was a great book. Terrific even. 😀
I spent two hours in my recliner quietly reading and finding my younger self going back to the barn that in my childhood housed Charlotte, a selfless spider, and a fat rat named Templeton, and an amazing pig called Wilbur.
And yes…. if you are wondering if it hit me all over again as the book came to a close… it did. With tear filled eyes I closed the final page with a sense of once again having experienced something remarkable in E.B. Whites famous childrens book.
I cant imagine it not being available for me to one day read to the young children that filter into my life….
In 2006, some parents in a Kansas school district decided that talking animals are blasphemous and unnatural; passages about the spider dying were also criticized as being “inappropriate subject matter for a children’s book.”
According to the parent group at the heart of the issue, ‘humans are the highest level of God’s creation and are the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God.’
A junior high in Batley, West Yorkshire, England, which became the center of international attention in 2003 when the school’s Headteacher decreed that all books featuring pigs should be removed because it could potentially offend the school’s Muslim students and their parents.
I hope that if you have this book somewhere on the shelf… pull it down and either read it again to yourself, or share this incredible story with a child.
The Clue needed for the banned books week challenge:
This book is on loan from my local library
This is the second clue given today. To know more about this please read my post from this morning.