Posts Tagged ‘E. B. White’

Should I, or not?

Saturday, 23 April 2011
Cover of "The Trumpet of the Swan (full c...

Cover of The Trumpet of the Swan (full color)

I’m not adding this book to my list of what I’ve read this year, because I’m missing 30 pages of it (to be precise, pp121-152 repeat, and then the text skips straight to p185 in my copy), but I think I’ve read enough of it to discuss here anyway.

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

I’ve read¬†Charlotte’s Web¬†several times as a child, and heard of Stuart Little, but I hadn’t come across this E. B. White book before. It’s the story of a boy who loves nature (Sam) who on one of his regular camping trips with his father sees a pair of Trumpeter Swans nesting, and who keeps an eye on them as much as he can. More specifically it’s the tale of Louis, one of the cygnets, who is lacking a voice. His parents consider this quite a serious handicap, since a male Trumpeter Swan attracts his mate with his call, and so his father undertakes to obtain a trumpet for him, while Louis and Sam find some even more unorthodox means of communication for him.

As in Charlotte’s Web, the animal stars generally understand human speech and some experts understand human culture in great detail, even though the humans do not understand animal conversation. Those with such expertise find ways to interact with humans to get what they and their family/friends need. In this book the interaction is much more extensive and two way, with the animal stars deviating much further from expected species behaviour.

I generally enjoyed the tale, although I found it a little more twee than I expected. If it comes up I’d like to get a complete copy for DD when she’ll be old enough to appreciate chapter stories.