Stuart Little

( 48 )

Overview

Stuart Little is a shy, philosophical little mouse with a big heart and a taste for adventure. In spite of his diminutive stature, barely two inches tall, Stuart sets forth into the world wtih some mighty big plans: to ride a Fifth Avenue bus, to win a sailboat race in Central Park, and to teach school for a day. But Stuart's greatest adventure begins when he decides to find his best friend, Margalo, a pretty little bird who once lived in a Boston fern in the Littles' house in New York City. Climbing into his ...
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Overview

Stuart Little is a shy, philosophical little mouse with a big heart and a taste for adventure. In spite of his diminutive stature, barely two inches tall, Stuart sets forth into the world wtih some mighty big plans: to ride a Fifth Avenue bus, to win a sailboat race in Central Park, and to teach school for a day. But Stuart's greatest adventure begins when he decides to find his best friend, Margalo, a pretty little bird who once lived in a Boston fern in the Littles' house in New York City. Climbing into his tiny car, Stuart hits the open road, sure he's heading in the right direction, only to find himself in for a big surprise.

Filled with warmth, wit and wonder, Stuart Little, is a timeless tale that speaks to the heroic spirit in all of us - no matter what our size.

The adventures of the debonair mouse Stuart Little as he sets out in the world to seek out his dearest friend, a little bird that stayed for a few days in his family's garden.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
How could a mouse be born into a human family? Critics and librarians in 1945 fretted that children would never accept a notion so unbelievable or a story without a neat ending. They need not have worried; New Yorker writer E. B. White's first children's book, Stuart Little, was a huge success. Since he is so tiny (only two inches tall), Stuart suffers many mishaps (such as getting rolled up in a window shade or being dumped onto a garbage scow), but he experiences triumphs, too, like sailing a model schooner safely through a storm on Central Park's boat pond. The little mouse's romantic nature sends him on a journey north in his tiny motor car to seek the beautiful bird Margalo; his more assertive side allows him to cope with a classroom of children on an unlikely assignment as a substitute in a rural school. After several more adventures and a conversation with a friendly and rather poetic telephone repairman, Stuart decides to keep on going. "As he peered ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt that he was headed in the right direction." Garth Williams's perfect pen-and-ink drawings, scattered throughout, rival Ernest Shepard's at their best. In 1970 White received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for this book and Charlotte's Web. Although at the end, the heroic little mouse disappears down the road leading north, it's unlikely that Stuart Little will ever disappear from print. 1945, HarperCollins, Ages 7 to 12.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064400565
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Stuart Little Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 27,814
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.58 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.

Mr. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life—there is also the life of the imagination."

Garth Williams began his work on the pictures for the Little House books by meeting Laura Ingalls Wilder at her home in Missouri, and then he traveled to the sites of all the little houses. His charming art caused Laura to remark that she and her family "live again in these illustrations."

Biography

"Style is even more important in children's books than in those for adults,” said the New York Times reviewer of Stuart Little, E.B. White's first book for children, in 1954. White -- an essayist whose elegant, deceptively simple writings for Harper's and The New Yorker had garnered him national acclaim -- may have seemed an unlikely children’s book author, but Stuart Little proved that good writing (and style) could translate to any genre, even to books for readers too young to enjoy his Talk of the Town pieces.

White had in fact been writing ever since he was a child, growing up in the "leafy suburbs" of Mount Vernon, New York. "I fell in love with the sound of an early typewriter and have been stuck with it ever since," he said later. After graduating from Cornell University in 1921, he tried to turn his facility with words into some form of gainful employment, but found advertising too dull and news reporting too taxing. Finally the Seattle Times asked him to create a small daily column of brief anecdotes and light verse, and White joined Mark Twain in the pantheon of American newspaper humorists.

In 1926, a fledgling publication called The New Yorker offered him a job on its staff. There, he helped create the signature style of clear, elegant writing with which the magazine would thereafter be associated. In New York he befriended writers like James Thurber and Dorothy Parker, and met the woman who was to become his wife, the literary editor Katharine Sergeant Angell.

White's second literary career, as a writer of children's books, had its origins in a dream of a little boy like a mouse, "all complete, with his hat, his cane, and his brisk manner." He began to make up stories about this dapper character to please his nephews and nieces, and eventually organized the Stuart Little stories into a book, which was published to high acclaim in 1945, and made into a feature film in 1999.

The barn of White's farmhouse in Maine provided the inspiration for a second children's book, Charlotte's Web (1952). This fable about a heroic spider and her efforts to save a pig from slaughter was even more successful than Stuart Little. "As a piece of work it is just about perfect," wrote Eudora Welty in The New York Times, and millions of readers agreed. Charlotte's Web was still high on the bestseller lists in 1970, when it was joined by White's third and final book for children, The Trumpet of the Swan.

White produced another bestseller in 1959, when he revised and expanded a little handbook of grammar and usage written by his late teacher at Cornell, William Strunk, Jr. Now familiar to generations of college students as Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, the book made a wise and witty case for what White called "clearness, accuracy and brevity in the use of English."

White's assessment of his own writing was a characteristic mix of humility and grandeur: "All that I ever hope to say in books is that I love the world. I guess you can find that in there, if you dig around."

Good To Know

Galleys of Stuart Little were sent to Anne Carroll Moore, who was head of children's books at the New York Public Library. Moore hated it. "To her it was nonaffirmative, inconclusive, unfit for children, and she felt it would harm its author if published," said White's editor, Ursula Nordstrom. She fired off a letter to White’s wife, and then made her case to Nordstrom -- who went ahead and published anyway.

After Stuart Little was released, White received a great deal of praise for the book, as well as some unusual criticism: "Then three fellows turned up claiming that their name was Stuart Little, and what was I going to do about that?" he wrote. "One of them told me he had begun work on a children's story: The hero was a rat and the rat's name was E. B. White."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Elwyn Brooks White (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 11, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mount Vernon, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      October 1, 1985
    2. Place of Death:
      North Brooklin, Maine

Read an Excerpt

In the Drain

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, a 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. Mr. and Mrs. Little named him Stuart, and Mr. Little made him a tiny bed out of four clothespins and a cigarette box.

Unlike most babies, Stuart could walk as soon as he was born. When he was a week old he could climb lamps by shinnying up the cord. Mrs. Little saw right away that the infant clothes she had provided were unsuitable, and she set to work and made him a fine little blue worsted suit with patch pockets in which he could keep his handkerchief, his money, and his keys. Every morning, before Stuart dressed, Mrs. Little went into his room and weighed him on a small scale which was really meant for weighing letters. At birth Stuart could have been sent by first class mail for three cents, but his parents preferred to keep him rather than send him away; and when, at the age of a month, he had gained only a third of an ounce, his mother was so worried she sent for the doctor.

The doctor was delighted with Stuart and said that it was very unusual for an American family to have a mouse. He took Stuart's temperature and found that it was 98.6, which is normal for a mouse. He also examined Stuart's chest and heart and looked into his ears solemnly with a flashlight. (Not every doctor can lookinto a mouse's ear without laughing.) Everything seemed to be all right, and Mrs. Little was pleased to get such a good report.

"Feed him up!" said the doctor cheerfully, as he left.

The home of the Little family was a pleasant place near a park in New York City. In the mornings the sun streamed in through the east windows, and all the Littles were up early as a general rule. Stuart was a great help to his parents, and to his older brother George, because of his small size and because he could do things that a mouse can do and was agreeable about doing them. One day when Mrs. Little was washing out the bathtub after Mr. Little had taken a bath, she lost a ring off her finger and was horrified to discover that it had fallen down the drain.

"What had I better do?" she cried, trying to keep the tears back.

"If I were you," said George, "I should bend a hairpin in the shape of a fishhook and tie it onto a piece of string and try to fish the ring out with it." So Mrs. Little found a piece of string and a hairpin, and for about a half-hour she fished for the ring; but it was dark down the drain and the hook always seemed to catch on something before she could get it down to where the ring was.

"What luck?" inquired Mr. Little, coming into the bathroom.

"No luck at all," said Mrs. Little. "The ring is so far down I can't fish it up."

"Why don't we send Stuart down after it?" suggested Mr. Little. "How about it, Stuart, would you like to try?"

"Yes, I would," Stuart replied, "but I think I'd better get into my old pants. I imagine it's wet down there."

"It's all of that," said George, who was a trifle annoyed that his hook idea hadn't worked. So Stuart slipped into his old pants and prepared to go down the drain after the ring. He decided to carry the string along with him, leaving one end in charge of his father.

"When I jerk three times on the string, pull me up," he said. And while Mr. Little knelt in the tub, Stuart slid easily down the drain and was lost to view. In a minute or so, there came three quick jerks on the string, and Mr. Little carefully hauled it up. There, at the end, was Stuart, with the ring safely around his neck.

"Oh, my brave little son," said Mrs. Little proudly, as she kissed Stuart and thanked him.

"How was it down there?" asked Mr. Little, who was always curious to know about places he had never been to.

"It was all right," said Stuart.

But the truth was the drain had made him very slimy, and it was necessary for him to take a bath and sprinkle himself with a bit of his mother's violet water before he felt himself again. Everybody in the family thought he had been awfully good about the whole thing.

Stuart Little. Copyright © by E. White. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2009

    Freaky book.

    It would seem normal, but when you read it Stuart is really human. Different from the movie, he was not adopted, but born a human who looks like a mouse.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awful

    This book is one of the worst I've ever read! It is just useless and boring. I don't understand why this was turned into a movie because it is just such a horrible book! So please don't waste your time on it!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Fun and Entertaing

    This book is exciting from the moment that you start. Poor Stuart Little is always smaller than everybody around him. But that makes him all the more better. He is a tough mouse with a lot of determination. If you liked the Stuart Little movies, then you will love the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2009

    Awesome!

    Reviewed by a 5-year old boy. He absolutely loves this book and wishes there was a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    it was so cool

    this was the best book ever.it was about Stuart trys to find his best friend ever(Marglo)so he has to go throw obsticuls to find her.i say go get the book and read it now!WOW!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    slightly surreal new classic

    I suppose as charlotte's web had a series of talking animals so a talking mouse born to a human isn't that difficult to entertain.<BR/>My daughter clearly enjoyed the story and didn't question the lack of logic or somewhat abrupt chapter/episode endings. But then she didn't demand it to be re-read again and again as she has with other books. <BR/>I never read this before reading it to her so had no sentiment towards it...it is a nice children's book but can't say it would be a favourite. Still better than much else out there - though not sure that is saying much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Man This Book is Awwwesome!

    This book is great.This book is Great because it has some parts you wouldn't even get but when you get farther you would know about it then.It had a part when you would probably thinking a lot.This book is most.y about Stuart's life and I know because the title is Stuart Little of course.I liked this book because Stuart's family cared for him.Another reason is because they wanted Stuart to be there for the rest of his life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2008

    Must read

    This book is fantasy. It is about a family and a talking mouse named Stuart. Stuart has trouble because he's so little. Stuart has to find his friend because she ran away from home and he runs into problems. This book is very adventurous, shocking, and funny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    My son and I love books about talking and funny animals and this is one of the best. Stuart Little is smart, creative and daring and he makes for a great children's hero.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Adorable classic In this classic tale for children, the Little

    Adorable classic

    In this classic tale for children, the Little family adopts a son, Stuart...but he turns out to look very much like a mouse! As Stuart grows, he has many adventures within his home and, later, out in the real world. This is an adorable book filled with child-like adventure. Appropriate to be read to young children, or to be read by a 2nd or 3rd grader.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Thoroughly enjoyable

    My son, who is a reluctant reader, is thoroughly enjoying this book. I'd highly recommend it. What a great adventure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    Narration brings it to life.

    Stuart Little, the little mouse who suspends disbelief, is brought to life by Julie Harris's beautiful narration. Thankfully so, because my children listened to it over and over throughout their childhood! Two of our favorite passages brought to life: "Live and learn", muttered Stuart tartly; and, "A substitute, a SUBSTITUTE!" Teaches children that everything in life is not tied up in neat little packages and finished in 30 minute increments, and that things don't always turn out like you think they will (did YOUR mother give birth to a mouse?) If you have trouble getting into the book just by reading it, spring for the unabridged version narrated by Julie Harris. You won't regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A tiny mouse with a big spirit of adventure. To be read and re-read

    A tiny mouse with a big senseo of adventiure takes a bite out of the big apple to find a true friend. Ahhhhh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    Stuarts Adventure

    Stuart Little by E.B. White is one of the best books I have ever read because it is full with adventure. It is about this mouse named Stuart. He lives with his family in central park at New York City. His family is his brother George, his mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Little. One day he was driving along he meet a bird with a bad wing her name was Margolo. Stuart invited Margolo. One day Margolo ran away Stuart goes on an adventure to find her. Want to know if Stuart finds her? Read the book! Also if you like stories with adventure Stuart little is just for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2006

    A good book for your library

    Stuart Little is the story of a tiny mouse and his adventures. The story is full of interesting things. The writing fits well any age. I loved reading Stuart Little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2005

    31 years later, i rate this #1

    i was browsing B&N and came across Stuart Little, and decided to give back to it. the fact is that this was the first book in my life that i found myself 'needing to turn the pages.' i'm now a professional writer. yes, buy this book for your children, it is quite special.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005

    Best Book Ever

    This book is about a mouse born into a normal human-being family.Stuart is very helpful because he can fit in small places where the rest of the Littles can't.He can do that because he is 2-inches tall. One day when Margalo flew away(a family pet which was his best friend)Stuart went north to look for her. He travaled in a car for his size that Doctor Carey built himself then gave it to Stuart. On his search he helps out people on the way. He asks almost everyone to look, but it was no use. He is still up north today looking for his best friend Margalo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2004

    great

    the book was so good it was like i was there. i would of liked to read it over and over

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    A Tiny Tale

    What if you were a mouse that lived with a human family? Well that is what Stuart Little is about. The book takes you on Stuart's (main character) wild adventures in hid house and in New York City. it also shows his daily activities. Stuart¿s favorite things are boats. He even got to race one. Also he becomes a substitute teacher for a day. My favorite part is when he gets thrown out in the trash and his friend bird, Margalo, comes and saves him. But on all of Stuart's adventures he is looking for Margalo, because she flew away after she saved him and Stuart wants to be with her again. Also he meets a human the same size as him. Her name is Harriet. He had a date with her but it didn¿t go well. Then she left him. But Stuart continued his journey looking for Margalo. I liked this book because it was funny and it held my interest. I would recommend this book to young readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2003

    Short Success

    Stuart Little is probably the best book I have ever read.The author(E.B.White)had done an amazing job on this book,because he describes Stuart and his family so well.I could make a movie in my head the book is so good. Stuart Little is a small mouse with a big problem.His family doesn't look and act like Stuart at all like Stuart.To tell you the truth,he looks alot like a mouse. Then just when he feels all alone he finds a friend.A little bird named Margalo.But the family cat is out to get her.So she hast to leave.Stuart doesn't know where she is?Will he find her?Read to find out. I rated this book a five because it was suspesful and funny at the same time.Read this book as soon as possible.

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