What to read after... Charlotte's Web

Published on: 23 March 2020

E. B. White’s classic story of Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig has enchanted many generations of readers - and prompted many tears! But what can possibly follow it?

Other books about personable animals include Stuart Little, another E. B. White favourite, the Blue Peter Award-winning rabbit fantasy Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood and illustrated by David Wyatt, Armadillo and Hare by Jeremy Strong and Rebecca Bagley or any story by Dick King-Smith, such as Harry’s Mad, featuring a talking African Grey parrot, or Harriet’s Hare, where an alien inhabiting the body of a hare befriends a little girl and helps rebuild her family after her mother’s death.

If you’re looking for other stories that tug at the heartstrings, Michelle Magorian’s children’s classic Goodnight Mister Tom is a must-read, as is Lara Williamson’s new The Girl With Space in Her Heart in which anxious little girl Mabel carries an imaginary suitcase of worries after her parents’ breakup. Dick King-Smith’s The Crowstarver is a poignant and affecting story about a boy that can communicate with animals, and Onjali Q Rauf’s The Star Outside My Window is a sad but ultimately uplifting tale following the fortunes of a brother and sister put into care. Last, Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray’s beautiful Corey’s Rock depicts a family healing itself after the loss of a child.

If you want more books featuring pigs, the new Unipiggle series by Hannah Shaw delivers a pig-unicorn hybrid full of giggles; Michael Morpurgo’s Mudpuddle Farm series is a lovely one for Charlotte’s Web fans, especially Pigs Might Fly. Of course, Dick King-Smith’s The Sheep Pig is another classic pig-themed children’s book (and was made into the film Babe). For funny piggy reads, Emer Stamp’s The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig is hilarious, as is the comic-format Pigsticks and Harold by Alex Milway.

Last, if you’re looking for heartwarming nature-based stories, Gill Lewis’ Sky Dancer and Run Wild and Nicola Davies’ The Little Mistake and Flying Free, both illustrated by Cathy Fisher, are gorgeous short reads about the bonds between animals and kids set in the British countryside.

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