E.B. White's Stuart Little
illustrated by Garth Williams
Book review by Billy Dickerson
More than just a Tom Thumb tale
Imagine, if you would, a world where talking animals are not as abundant as they are today. (We are talking, of course, about fictional animals, not real talking animals. I, sadly, have yet to meet many of those.) You can probably imagine that the exploits of a talking animal in this world would have a stronger impact on the reader than they do in our world, which is stuffed to the gills with all manner of talking critters.
After all, today’s children won’t understand a story about friendship unless it’s friendship between two talking mice or some other form of wildlife.
In this world with fewer talking animals, we might meet a mouse born in an unusual way. Let’s say a woman gives birth to him. As a mouse, he grows up quickly and has a desire to explore the world. By the way, this mouse just happens to be called Stuart Little.
Stuart Little is the masterpiece written by E. B. White, who is probably better known for his other classic tale, Charlotte’s Web. This story follows Stuart as he strives to live in a world that is larger than a mouse of his stature.
If I were just a couple of inches tall, I might hide and try to keep myself safe, but this young mouse approaches the world with daring and a sense of adventure that is refreshing in our time.
Stuart is not afraid to take on challenges, nor is he afraid to take risks. Stuart learns how to sail a boat and drive a car, and when his best friend, a beautiful bird named Margalo, runs away to escape a murderous cat, Stuart goes on a quest to find her and bring her home even though he has very little information to help him on his quest.
Did I like this book? In case you couldn’t tell, I loved it. E. B. White is an expert in the English language and he works that craft to make a compelling tale. Stuart may be a Tom Thumb / Thumbelina type of character, but White writes the character and his adventures in an engaging way. Stuart is a unique individual, and he approaches life with a different kind of attitude. (Review continues.)
Take for example his short time as a teacher. How does a mouse get a job as a teacher? You’ll have to read the book to find that one out, but rest assured that Stuart does get a class of impressionable young minds. Does he open up the books and start reading the information to the class? Not our diminutive hero. Instead, he starts using a real-life example to talk about how government works.
So try not to judge poor Stuart by the movies. From what I’ve read, they don’t have much to do with the book. Instead, give Mr. White a chance to impress you with his writing style. Stuart Little is a mouse worth knowing, and his adventures will entertain and inform, and his wisdom will improve your life. You won’t regret meeting this talking mouse, I assure you.
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