Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Trumpet of The Swan

In mid-eighties, I read Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and liked it very much. The illustrations by Garth Williams, which showed a spider web with the writing "Some Pig" (and later "Terrific") amazed me. The book was from my school library and when I wanted to have one for my own, I could not find it anywhere.

In late 90's it was not difficult anymore to buy things from other countries. I got my copy of Charlotte's Web several years ago. Only yesterday I read this other work by E.B. White, The Trumpet of The Swan. Like Charlotte's Web (and Little Stuart), this is also a wonderful story.

Louis, a trumpeter swan, is born dumb. He goes to see his friend Sam Beaver and asks him to take him to school so he can learn to write. However, it is not useful to communicate with other swans, because they never learn to read. It's moving and funny at once when Louis tries to tell Serena, a female trumpeter swan, that he is in love with her; because Serena cannot read the words "I love you." Louis's father steals a trumpet for his son, so with this trumpet Louis can communicate with other swans. Louis then masters the trumpet and works as a musician to pay for the trumpet and restore his father's honour.

The illustrations by Fred Marcellino is beautiful and helps a lot to imagine Louis's adventures. I only regret because I have mistaken and bought the b/w version while there is a colour version.

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