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.