Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stuart Little

I just finished reading Stuart Little to my children tonight.  I read Charlotte's Web as a child and loved it but have never read Stuart Little until now.   It is one of those books that I have always known about, but never read.  Each chapter in the book is like a short vignette on Stuart - thus creating a very endearing character.  I love how Stuart is a mouse, but regards himself only as being "mouselike."  He is every bit a part of society as his human family he just has more obstacles to overcome.  For example, cats.  Hiding from cats takes him on many adventures such as being dumped into the back of a garbage dump-truck and eventually taken out to sea.  However, the short vignette-like chapters also create a story that is a little disjointed and leaves some details out of the story as a whole.  I quite enjoyed the book but can see how some might feel a little dissatisfied at the end. 

E.B. White is a fantastic writer.  My husband and I often talk about how people evolve as writers.  We begin by learning how to write simple sentences and eventually move onto complex sentences.  However, we think that to become a good writer one must again return to simple sentences.  There are, however, some who are skilled enough writers to be able to pull off complex sentences.  Charles Dickens, for one.  E.B. White also has some incredibly well written complex sentences.  

I think this is a great read for younger children.  My 3-year-old enjoyed the book but his attention was in and out of the story while my 5-year-old daughter loved it.  She was, however, disappointed with the ending which can be quite anti-climatic.  

Stuart Little was E.B. White's first novel for children and was published in 1945.   It is one that has certainly stood the test of time.  

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