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11.09.2016

Book Report - Charlotte's Web

I'm still numb from the results of the election, so I think all I can muster up today is quick book report post. When real life is too surreal and sad, reading is great way to escape for a little bit. I recently read Charlotte's Web by E.B. White to Madeleine. I wasn't planning on counting it as one of my books for the year, but when we read it a second time (that's how much she enjoyed it), I realized it's more than worthy of a place on my list.
Charlotte's Web tells the tale of a little pig, Wilbur, who longs for friendship. Born the runt of the litter, Wilbur is saved by a little girl named Fern. When he gets too big for Fern to take care of anymore, he goes to live at her Uncle's farm. There Wilbur struggles to fit in with the other farm animals until he meets a wise spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur learns what his fate as a farm pig actually means, Charlotte promises to save him. She starts spinning words into her web showcasing what an extraordinary pig Wilbur is thereby changing his life forever.

Perfection.

There really isn't much more that has to be said other than that, but I'll give it a go. Charlotte's Web is a story for children that deals with some really adult concepts - love, friendship, and death. The fact that it's able to explain these concepts so clearly, all the while maintaining a childlike innocence perfect for all ages is probably the top reason Charlotte's Web has stood the test of time. It's simple, yet complex. It's familiar and comforting. It's funny and sweet. It's perfect.

As far as reading this out loud to Madeleine, it went really well. I wasn't sure if she had the attention span or the comprehension skills yet, but we gave it a go. We'd read a chapter each night, and then I'd ask her questions about what we read to make sure she was following the story. It was funny because there were many times I thought she wasn't paying attention at all, but then I'd ask her questions and she'd actually know all the answers. It also gave us a lot of interesting things to talk about outside the story, and of course, we totally cried together at the end of the book. I'm glad we were able to experience it together and I'm looking forward to reading together like this more and more.

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