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As far as classic domestic stories for children go, this is one of my favorites. I've been reading it aloud to Ursula for for the past month (we're on our second time through) and it's as memorable for me as it is for her. The writing is superb and the story is lively and rich with keen observations of lives - both human and animal - that never grow old. When Fern tries to stop her father from killing the newly born runt, it's a great father-daughter moment. And when, later on, Fern skips off to ride the ferris wheel with Henry Fussy, forgetting all about Wilbur, it's a deeply understated moment that the children may miss, but no parent will.
It's also a perfect springtime book, as the story unfolds (mainly) over one spring and summer at the Zuckerman's barn. Big recommend. If you can, get an old 1952 hardcover and skip the later "improvements" that publishers added, not to mention all the movie stuff.
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