The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

E.B. White is better known for Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but my favourite of his books is The Trumpet of the Swan. It tells the story of Louis, a trumpeter swan who can’t trumpet, which has grave implications for future courtship! Louis’s concerned father sacrifices his honour by stealing a trumpet for Louis from a music store. In order to repay his father’s debt, Louis, with the help of a human friend, Sam Beaver, gets work as a camp bugler, followed by a series of other jobs. This book is full of delights – the pompous and florid speeches of Louis’ father, the down-to-earth common sense of his mother, the delightful diary entries of Sam Beaver, and various little reflections on life. I first experienced this book as a child listening to a recording, read by the author, while driving across parts of Canada (where some of the book is set). It definitely stands up to adult re-reading too.

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