The 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith:
The Bachsters and I were going through stacks of books recently to donate, and I came across a big book with a bunch of Disney stories in it. I've got to admit, when I saw it I felt a bit smug, because we had recently read the excellent novel by Dodie Smith. My Bachsters were way beyond the imitation stuff; they had read the real deal. Call me a book snob, I won't argue!
One can't help but compare the stories, however. If you've seen the movie version, or read any of those Disney compilations, you'll see that there are only two main Dalmations, rather than the three in Smith's original novel. Mr. de Vil makes an appearance in the book, but I believe he is absent from the movie. But other than a few other little things, from what I can remember from seeing the movie years ago, the movie stays true to the novel for the most part. But as just about all readers know, movies can never compare to novels because of the way you can immerse yourself in a good book.
Anyway, in case you're not familiar with the story, it's about Pongo and Missis (that's right, not Perdita), two Dalmations who have had their puppies stolen by the evil Cruella de Vil. They journey into the country to save their pups, but when they arrive at the de Vil mansion, they find more pups than they were expecting - quite a few more!
I really love Dodie Smith, and am so glad to have recently discovered her. Her writing style is perfection, with just enough details, plots that move along nicely, wonderfully believable characters and humor throughout. I really loved I Capture the Castle & I hope to read more books by this author soon.