Review: Stuart Little

Stuart Little
Stuart Little by E.B. White
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought I would love Stuart Little. I appreciate E.B. White’s writing style; Charlotte’s Web is fantastic. I was especially driven to read this after all the references in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. However, there’s too much that didn’t click. One unbelievable moment after another was piled on in an incongruent plot that dropped off with no resolution. Upon the closing of the book, both my kids and I asked “what happened?”

If you have seen the movie, but not read the book, don’t worry—they’re totally different. For starters, the mouse is adopted into the family in the movie, which is the basis of the movie’s plot. For the book, we’re lead to believe the mouse is delivered by natural birth—the first step in a long line of disbeliefs. I get it—imagination is fun and made-up, but after a while it became too much to go along with.

The book is really a series of events versus a straight-forward story. Stuart comes off as a highly-educated mouse that handles himself well in a variety of situations. Whether he’s driving invisible cars or standing as a school’s substitute teacher—he does it all in style. I’m not sure why people let him do these things or why they accept his microscopic money, but it’s all just part of the story.

What really put us (me and my kids) off from this book are the final two or three chapters. (Nothing really to spoil here, since there’s not really a plot.) Stuart’s off to find his bird friend, but stops in town and tries to court this tiny girl (no explanation on where she came from). He writes this ridiculously long letter to her that seems to take up half the chapter. He continues searching for the bird. The rest is up to your imagination. Does he find the bird? Does he return to his family? Who knows.

The movie wasn’t “awesome”, but at least it had a plot and a satisfying ending. This book was pretty fun, but dropped off into the “huh?” territory about mid-way through, quickly killing itself out by the end. My recommendation is to just re-read the first half of the book over and over.

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