Friday, August 28, 2009

Stuart Little by E. B. White

I read The Trumpet of the Swan a couple of years ago for the first time since I was a small child. I really loved E. B. White's animal trilogy as a kid and decided that I would also reread Stuart Little. White does a great job of mixing together everyday life and the absolutely absurd. In The Trumpet of the Swan, it was people quickly getting over a swan that could communicate with humans by writing on a chalkboard that hung around its neck. In Stuart Little, it was a woman going into the hospital to have a baby and giving birth to a little mouse. As a kid these were the kind of absurdities that kickstarted my imagination, unlike the acid-trip absurdities of Lewis Carroll.

When Stuart friend Margalo--a bird--goes missing. He decides that he must try to find her. He leaves his family and sets out to locate his friend. The story ends rather abruptly, with Stuart heading down a country road, still looking for his friend.

One of my favorite exchanges was when Stuart was trying to convince a man who owned a tiny sailing ship to let him captain it across the lake. The man asks Stuart, "Are you sober?" as one would of any potential sailor. Stuart replies, "I do my work." Brilliant.

While Stuart Little did not hold up quite as well as The Trumpet of the Swan, it was still a fun read, and remains a great kids book.

1 comment:

Nihil Novum said...

This is one of my very favorite kid's books. Much better than the movies.