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The Trumpet of the Swan: 12/26/08
is best known for Stuart Little (1945) and Charlotte's Web (1952) but my favorite of his novels is The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). Like the other two, it stars an extraordinary animal, in this case, a mute trumpeter swan, Louis. To survive in the world and to communicate with other swans, Louis learns to play the trumpet.
Louis befriends a number of humans but his first and best friend is Sam, a boy whom he first meets as a cygnet up in Canada. Sam serves as Louis's connection to the human world teaching him basic skills and getting him the things he needs to survive.
The book in its own oddball way teaches about the life of the trumpeter swan while at the same time being a classic fantasy quest except that the hero is a swan. He's not enchanted but he is marked by his lack of a voice. His quest is two fold: earn enough money to pay for the stolen trumpet and to earn the love of the beautiful Serena.
The Trumpet of the Swan is my favorite of the three because it's heartwarming without the goofiness of Stuart Little or the melodrama of Charlotte's Web.
Comment #1: Saturday, December, 27, 2008 at 09:10:16
This is one of my all time favs. I read it aloud for YEARS to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who loved it dearly too.
Comment #2: Saturday, January 3, 2008 at 17:44:01
How lucky your students were! Happy New Year.