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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

**** Stuart Little by E. B. White. Juvenile.

I'd never read this book, so when I found it among the kids' books, I decided to give it a shot. And yes, I feel guilty for not having read it to my kids when they were small. Not to worry--I read to them a lot, just not this one, possibly because I wasn't familiar with it myself.

I'm sure everyone already knows the plot--my ignorance notwithstanding, it is a classic children's story. It's not the same as the movie, by the way--which I haven't seen, but I've heard about.

The Littles' second child turns out to be a mouse. The story tells about his struggles living as a mouse in a human household, and then about his adventures when he leaves home to find his bird friend.

It's very much a product of its times--written in 1945, it's a completely different style from most current children's books. The language isn't dumbed down for children, nor does the story have a sugary-sweet ending that seems a requirement nowadays. At the same time, it's not a story for adults. Stuart is obviously meant to be identified with by young children, and his adventures involve situations and emotions that will be familiar to them.

I do wish I'd read it to my kids when they were small. Maybe I'll hang on to it for eventual grandchildren.


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Darla -

I read Stuart Little as kid, love the book. You right though, the book and the movie are totally different thing. But after the movie, it turn into a weekend TV show for kids to watch. I adore the TV show as kid, and never missed episodes *grin*. Sadly I don't have a copy of the book...

Gosh - thanks for taking me back to memories lane :)
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