Charlotte's Web is perhaps the best piece of children's literature that I have read to date. I won't rehash the plot here, as many reviewers have done that already (and most of us know it, anyway). Instead, I will say that Charlotte's Web has what most children's books lack now, and that is a true literary quality. Most of what is marketed to children is dumbed-down, non-thematic, twaddle. Charlotte's Web avoid's all of those pitfalls. Instead, the prose is lyrical in it's simplicity. It has strong themes that deal with death in the real world, and growing up and beyond childish things. None of the characters are 'bad', but rather it is fate that is fought, the fate of a pig destined for Christmas dinner.
For parents who are seeking something meaningful in their child's literature, and especially for parents who are looking to accustom their children to good, wholesome literature (instead of twaddle), Charlotte's Web will fit the bill perfectly. Homeschooling parents, and all who enjoy expanding their children's vocabularies, will also appreciate the many words that are used and defined throughout the story.
And, lest I forget the most important issue of a review, my five year old boy LOVED this book. He's still talking about it some time after we finished reading it. Parents concerned about the death of Charlotte should give some thought to whether or not their child is ready to have that included in the story. My five year old wasn't particularly disturbed by it. My feeling is that most wouldn't be, however, very sensitive children might do better to wait a year or two more.