Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mrs. Little, Get Out While You Can

Our family started reading Stuart Little as bedtime reading tonight.  We've read it before with Charlie, but this is Teddy's first time through.  We borrowed from the library a wonderful read-aloud version with Garth Williams's perfect illustrations.  

The book opens with the mouse Stuart being born into this human family.  Charlie (age 9.95) stopped me and said "This story starts with Stuart being born?  How could a mouse be born with a human mother?"  I replied "You know that Stuart drives a car in this story, right?  And talks?  There are a lot of 'how coulds...' in this book."  The boy granted that this was true.

What really made me scratch my head, though, came in the book itself.  In a very early scene in which Stewart gets lowered down the bathtub drain to rescue Mrs. Little's wedding ring, I'd never noticed before the task in which the good Mrs. L. was engaged when the ring got lost.  She was cleaning the bathtub after Mr. Little took a bath.  Wait, what?  A mouse in the house isn't all that's wrong with this family.  My advice to Mrs. Little: leave that ring in the drain, go grab some girlfriends and head to a resort upstate for the weekend.  See if Mr. Little appreciates his mate a little bit more and stops making her and their mouse child do all the dirty work.


Anne H. said...

Love stuart Little and I'd forgotten how delightful the Garth Williams illustrations are. (Williams was the perfect illustrator for the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as well.) As for Mrs Little scrubbing the tub, I say fugedabout it and enjoy the story.

I'm happy to learn that you're still reading to the boys. It promotes family closeness, IMO, as well as other benefits. Wish I could snuggle in and listen too.

Azure said...

We read this book to our girls the lazy way -- an audio book during a car trip. I had forgotten about the crazy abrupt ending so much so that I was actually digging around the packed car looking for another CD! What happened Mr. White?!

Karen Gorss said...

I have refrained from reading some of my childhood favorites to my son because I know they have problematic themes. He's eight now; maybe he could handle some of them all right.