by E. B. White, published 1945
“Very good advice, Albert, but advice and law are not the same. Law is much more solemn than advice. Law is extremely solemn. Anybody else think of a law for the world?”
It’s not hard to believe that E. B. White started as a contributor of humor to the New Yorker. His writing style even in this children’s book is filled with that New Yorker sly humor that makes you chuckle. That’s for the adults. For the children, he’s just downright silly and gets away with it in great style. Stuart Little is a smiling, chuckling children’s book all the way to the unexpected end. A great piece of writing by an iconic writer.
I’ve been reading E. B. White backwards, in someways. I started with Trumpet of the Swan, now I’ve finished Stuart Little, and have yet to read his most well-known, Charlotte’s Web. However, it’s not hard to see his mastery of any subject he picks up. His books all seem to feature an animal, which is one of the ways he gets his satire about human foibles expertly woven in, the way fables might do.
There’s nothing hard about reading Stuart Little, and any reader with enough skill can make great progress through it easily. Pure fantasy, pure fun, pure delight. Again, there are probably movies and cartoons about Stuart Little but if you can steer your children to the original children’s books, they’ll be amply rewarded.