Stuart Little

Our rating: ****

Of all strange things that have ever happened, a mouse being born into a human family is one of them. Perhaps Stuart wasn’t really a mouse, but he certainly looked like one, and he caused a fair amount of worry to his parents, who were forever fearful of losing him. An adventurous mouse at heart, Stuart did many exciting things such as sailing in a boat on Central Park Pond and climbing down the bathtub drain after his mother’s ring. One day a brown bird named Margalo came to stay with the family for a while, and she and Stuart became good friends. Imagine Stuart’s grief when, one morning, upon waking up, he discovered that Margalo had vanished. Determined to find her again, Stuart sets out to seek his fortune and his friend.

It’s interesting how much the camp is divided over this book. Some people love it, and others find it bizarre. I enjoy it, and find Stuart’s adventures to be very amusing. That’s pretty much what the book is: a collection of Stuart’s adventures with little or no reason to move from one to other except as they happen. Charming, in many respects, and witty in all the others.

Charlotte’s Web

Our rating: ***

One morning Fern Arable, an eight year-old girl, learned her father was about to kill the runt of the new pig litter. She rushed to stop him and finally Mr. Arable agreed not to harm the pig. Mr. Arable gave the pig to Fern, and she eventually named him Wilbur. However, after a few weeks of happiness together, Mr. Arable told Fern that the pig would have to be sold. Wilbur was getting bigger, along with his appetite, and Mr. Arable wasn’t willing to feed the pig any longer. So Fern sorrowfully sold Wilbur to her Uncle Zuckerman’s farm nearby, where she could go and visit him. However, even with all Fern’s visits, Wilbur became lonely. But a spider named Charlotte was ready to be his friend and would also try to save him from being killed and made into bacon and ham.

A great book. For those who don’t like spiders, this book might help them feel a little more affectionate to the eight-legged insects. Maybe. No guarantees. And all readers should be prepared for a sad and perhaps unexpected part at the end. However, Templeton the rat is rather funny sometimes, and I really like the ending of this book.

The Trumpet of the Swan

Our rating: ****

Louis is different from all the other cygnets in one way: he lacks a voice. A Trumpeter Swan without a voice is a rather unheard of thing, and his father risks his life to bring Louis a trumpet. Louis learns how to play and sets out to earn enough money to pay for the stolen trumpet.

An enjoyable read. E. B. White’s style of writing can be rather humorous at times. The idea of a Trumpeter Swan actually playing a trumpet is rather whimsical.