Sunday, December 05, 2010

Stuart Little, by E.B. White

(pb; 1945; pictures by Garth Williams)

From the back cover:

"Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventures.

"Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?"


Bizarre-ish, unpredictable, quirky children's novel, this.

White avoids obvious character set-ups, with chapter finishes that almost seem to dead-end, rather than build to more "meaningful", life-changing events.

White is also subtle about certain things that might raise obvious, awkward questions with children reading the book. In some ways, this is a sly, borderline subversive, treatment within the children's book genre.

This is a good, distinctive read.

Check it out from the library before you buy this. It's appropriate for children, but White seems to have done away with the usual resolutions here.

The live action film version was released stateside on December 17, 1999. Rob Minkoff directed the film, from a script by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker.

Michael J. Fox voiced the CGI'd Stuart Little. Geena Davis played Mrs. Eleanor Little. Hugh Laurie played Mr. Frederick Little. Jonathan Lipnicki played George Little.

Nathan Lane voiced Snowbell the cat. Chazz Palminteri voiced "Smokey, the Chief Alley Cat". Steve Zahn voiced "Monty the Mouth". David Alan Grier voiced "Red the Alley Cat".

Bruno Kirby voiced Mr. Reginald "Reggie" Stout. Jennifer Tilly voiced Mrs. Camille Stout. Jeffrey Jones played Uncle Crenshaw Little. Brian Doyle-Murray played Cousin Edgar Little. Julia Sweeney played "Mrs. Keeper, the Orphanage Owner". Dabney Coleman played Dr. Beechwood. Jon Polito played Detective Sherman.

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