How terribly surprised the Little family must have been when their second child turned out to be a small mouse. Apparently familiar with the axiom that "when in New York City, anything can happen," the Littles accept young Stuart into their family unquestioningly--with the exception of Snowbell the cat who is unable to overcome his instinctive dislike for the little mouse. They build him a bed from a matchbox, and supply him with all of the accoutrements a young mouse could need. Mrs. Little even fashions him a suit, because baby clothes would obviously be unsuitable for such a sophisticated mouse. In return, Stuart helps his tall family with errant Ping-Pong balls that roll outside of their reach. E. B. White takes Stuart on a hero's quest across the American countryside, introducing the mouse--and the reader--to a myriad of delightful characters. Little finds himself embroiled in one adventure after another from the excitement of racing sailboats to the unseen horrors of substitute teaching. This is a story of leaving home for the first time, of growing up, and ultimately of discovering oneself. At times, doesn't everyone feel like the sole mouse in a family--and a world--of extremely tall people? (Ages 9 to 12) Narrator Julie Harris draws upon her extraordinary acting talents to raise this much-loved tale of a teeny, tiny explorer and his oversized adventures to new heights. "Stuart put on his sailor hat and his sailor suit, took his spy glass down from the shelf and set for a walk full of the joy of life and the fear of dogs." Skipping from one precarious perch to the next, the diminutive wanderer makes new friends, meets old ones, and shares his lust for life with listeners of all ages. Harris's clever, lyrical narration is wonderfully evocative and perfectly captures the charming yet soulful spirit of E.B. White's classic children's tale. (Running time: 2 hours) --George Laney
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