- Publisher: Collins
- Format: Paperback | 144 pages
- Dimensions: 124mm x 191mm x 8mm | 113g
- Publication date: 1 February 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0064400565
- ISBN 13: 9780064400565
- Sales rank: 10,763
This is the first children's book by the distinguished author, E. B. White. Stuart Little, the hero, is a mouse in the family of the Frederick C. Littles and is a pleasantly debonair little character, with a shy, engaging manner and a somewhat philosophical turn of mind. He is a great help around the house, and everybody except Snowbell the cat likes him a great deal. In spite of his small size, Stuart gets around a good bit in the world, riding a Fifth Avenue bus with some aplomb, racing (and winning in) a sailboat in Central Park, teaching school for a day, and so on. His size - just over two inches - does give him some trouble now and then, like the time he was rolled up in the window shade, or when he got dumped in to a garbage scow. But on the whole his life is a happy one. His great adventure comes when, at the age of seven, he sets out in the world to seek his dearest friends, Margalo, a beautiful little bird fern. It is on this search, after several amusing experiences, that we leave Stuart, going North in his little car, sure he is heading in the right direction.
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By C. Riedel 26 Mar 2013
"Stuart Little" is commendably original and I was delighted with the first half. Go with the flow of an author's imagination and you'll experience new realms. They needn't match the nature of our world but logic should balance within a tale. Two instances of Stuart's behaviour, derailed the character for me, enough to lower my assessment. I was startled by a mouse-looking life form, who wasn't an adoptee but a human's offspring. It's okay that the phenomena is unexplained because this isn't an adult novel that would expand fully.
Problems like turning taps on sinks and getting rolled into window shades, were interesting. A loving family cared about each other, with their own peculiarity. I read a criticism in another review that the parents enlisted Stuart's help inside a drain and a piano. I say it illustrated his size could be useful, instead of something to regret. Imagine the esteem of a tiny person: "This is something you need me to do"! The race was a fun chapter and not an unconnected device to generate excitement. Stuart befriends the dentist there and his knowledge of watercraft comes up again too.
The bird, Margalo, is the loveliest addition and searching for her becomes the heart of the book. What bothered me is Stuart not telling his family he was going, nor having the dentist call them. When he visits a post office, it is to invite a miniature girl on a boat ride that unravels pointlessly, instead of contacting his parents. They were once frantic while he was merely lost inside the house. Perhaps E.B. White intended a sequel. I found the very best part short-changed, by leaving the search on-going. The end pages would soar exponentially with the emotion of a reunion. Instead we close flatly, on a poorly-handled date.
"Endearing for young and old, full of wit and wisdom and amusement." --" H."