Stuart Little is a 1945 children's novel by E. B. White, his first book for children, and is widely recognized as a classic in children's literature. Stuart Little was illustrated by the subsequently award-winning artist Garth Williams, also his first work for children. It is a realistic fantasy about a talking mouse, Stuart Little, born to human parents in New York.
In a letter White wrote in response to inquiries from readers, "...many years ago I went to bed one night in a railway sleeping car, and during the night I dreamed about a tiny boy who acted rather like a mouse. That's how the story of Stuart Little got started".
Stuart arrives home with his mother from the hospital, and is accepted as family immediately. He becomes an enemy of the family's cat, Snowbell, who is jealous of him being accepted as family. A bird, Margalo, befriends Stuart, after he protects her from the family cat. The bird repays his kindness by saving Stuart after he is trapped in a garbage can and ends up on a garbage scowl leaving for disposal at sea.
Margalo flees when she is warned that one of Snowbell's friends intends to eat her, and Stuart strikes out to find her. A friendly dentist, the owner of a toy boat Stuart had raced for him in Central Park, gives him a gasoline-powered model car to travel in. While searching for Margalo, he works as a substitute teacher, with some success despite his amusing appearance.Stuart has a date with a tiny girl,on a boat. The story ends with Stuart leaving his job, setting out again in his car to continue his search for his friend.
The book was reviewed in the New York Times by Malcolm Cowley, who wrote, "Mr. White has a tendency to write amusing scenes instead of telling a story. To say that Stuart Little is one of the best children's books published this year is very modest praise for a writer of his talent." The book has become a children's classic, and is widely read by children and used by teachers. White received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1970 for Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web.
In 1954, Walt Disney considered making Stuart Little into an animated movie, but it was never produced.The book was loosely adapted into a 1999 film of the same name, which combined live-action with computer animation. A 2002 sequel to the first film, Stuart Little 2, was truer to the book. A third film, Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild was released direct-to-video in 2006. This film was entirely computer-animated, and its plot was not derived from the book.
"The World of Stuart Little," a 1966 episode of NBC's Children's Theater, narrated by Johnny Carson, won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy. An animated television series, Stuart Little: The Animated Series, was produced for HBO Family and aired for 13 episodes in 2003.