The introduction to “Stuart Little” immediately captures the reader’s attention:
“When Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse. The truth of the matter was, the baby looked very much like a mouse in every way. He was only about two inches high; and he had a mouse’s sharp nose, and mouse’s tail, a mouse’s whiskers, and the pleasant, shy manner of a mouse. Before he was many days old he was not only looking like a mouse, but acting like one, too-wearing a gray hat and carrying a small cane.”
The story tells of Stuart’s adventures as a small mouse in a large world. Sailing a model boat, accidentally being taken out in the rubbish, working as a substitute teacher - Stuart’s life is full of experiences that make an interesting story.
The only thing that I have never like about “Stuart Little” is its ending. Unlike E.B. White’s other children’s stories, “Stuart Little” lacks a satisfying conclusion. Stuart is left forever traveling in search of a bird who was his friend.
E.B. White does an excellent job of developing Stuart in the beginning: as a carefree, studious young mouse who leads an active and interesting life style. But as the story progresses, Stuart’s character changes, until he is left as a slightly sad and morose character, wronged by the world and separated by his size.
All in all, “Stuart Little” is a book that has stood the test of time, remaining popular for over fifty years. I would recommend it as a worthy addition to any book collection.