My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read The Trumpet of the Swan many years ago as a child but I didn’t recall much of it. Reading it again I realized somethings about literature and growing up. It’s funny, for adults there are basically two kinds of fiction – realism or fantasy. While there is some blending of the two, the actions of the story follow certain rules be they rules of nature in our world or the rules created by the author that dictate life in the world of the story. In children’s literature, however, like in a Disney movie, rules are often thrown out of the window for the sake of the story. I had forgotten about that. And, apparently, I’d forgotten how to suspend my disbelief as fully as I did when I was a child. In this classic from E.B. White, people often react as you would expect them to when faced with a trumpet playing swan who can read and write English and at other times, they react differently than you would expect; animals (well, the swans anyway) often understand things about the world of men that they wouldn’t while at other times they are clueless. As a boring old adult, this took some time for me to get used to. That being said, this is a fun, sweet, and truly funny story. And the illustrations in this new digital edition by Fred Marcellino are beautiful yet sometimes humorous. The cob’s speeches and his mate’s responses to them were the highlights of the book about man working with nature, honor, and overcoming the obstacles we’re giving in life.