Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White - Happy Birthday 40 years strong

You might wonder why I'm reviewing a book that's forty years old.  Mostly it's because, (for some reason probably the rather ho hum cover,) the Trumpet of the Swan has never received the recognition it deserved.

Sam Beaver discovers a swan's nest and has the opportunity to protect it from predators.  The swans trust him, and he gets to see the eggs hatching.  The last cygnet, Louie is born without a voice. This lack is sorely felt by his parents, but he goes to school with Sam to learn how to read and write.  This seems to work very well until Louie realizes it hasn't worked at all because unfortunately all the other swans don't know how to read and write...

The swamplands are well gorgeous, the school scenes are just delightful and so are the characters.  The book, with its sense of wilderness and wonder is a must for any child who loves nature, or any child you want to cultivate a love of nature in.  And as with, "Charlotte's Web"  and "Stewart Little,"  E.B. White's almost laconic style is a pleasure to read aloud.

I would mention some of the delightful touches of humour, but I wouldn't do them justice.  It's just brilliant.  My children and I believe this to be his best children's book, saving his best for last.  So all you E.B. White fans out there, now that you know this book exists it's time to make your collection complete.

Review by Alicia Ponder

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