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>Dakota’s Web

>I asked frequent blog commentor Melinda Cordell to review Charlotte’s Web for us; here’s what she thinks.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >Okay then, won’t be watching that movie.

  2. >Yippee! Now go spend that cold cash on a collection of White’s essays.

  3. >One Man’s Meat is an amazing collection. Also, the updated collection of his letters is out, in a lovely thick edition from HC.

  4. >Thanks, Roger, and Melinda, for the refreshing review (as well as the one at Melinda’s blog).

    And when I was done reading reviews, I found the link to the old Lois Lenski article — lovely. Many thanks to the folks at HB who decided to include that, a terrific present for the rest of us.

  5. >I’m a big fan of White and, as I think Roger knows, have been doing a close study of Charlotte’s Web with my 4th graders yearly since 1990. Since I can’t stand the 1973 movie and was very put off by the fart joke in the trailer for this one, I went on Friday with great trepidation. While I too wish the filmmakers had used White’s wonderful prose and not given in to narrative homilies, especially at the end, I think they did a lot that was right and would recommend the film.

    Unlike Melinda, I very much liked Fern’s portrayal. She is besotted with Wilbur, “enchanted” is the word White uses, and I thought the various scenes (some not in the book, but that is okay) showing this were delightful.

    As for the potty humor, I have to admit I only noticed one such joke (Melinda counted four I believe!) and not the offensive one of the trailer.

    At any rate, I went in pretty skeptical and went out feeling it was pretty decent. Not amazing, but not dreadful either. For more from my students and me on the film visit this post at my blog:

  6. rindawriter says:

    >Nice job, Melinda! I have a uneasy feeling, knowing filmmakers, that what you said is what I’ll see….that is…if…I see the movie…if I have the time…with so many books to read…

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