Douglas's Reviews > The Trumpet of the Swan

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens-books, music, green
Read in August, 2011

So I heard there is a new book about E.B. Whites writing of "Charlotte's Web". I'm not sure I've ever read Charlotte, but I'm so familiar with it based on the popular cartoon they use to play on TV in the 70's that I decided to read one of his others instead. I decided to pick up this one, and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. E.B. White does a wonderful job of using his literary skills to enhance children's vocabulary, however some of the verbiage & plot points seems dated for something written in 1970. I don't think it says what year it's taking place in so maybe it is meant to be dated for an earlier time. It seems a bit sexist at times to me. In one scene a math class is going on. After one of the boys "solves" a problem concerning walking a # of miles in a # of hours, the teacher says she now has a math problem for the girls. It has to do with how many ounces of milk a baby can drink in a certain # of hours. I thought that was so odd to read, but then my math teacher never gave us anything that interesting to think about.
There is a bit of disturbing "self mutilation" in the book on the part of the swan. It helps him to achieve some of his goals, but I thought it was way bizarre for a kids book. White doesn't go into much detail about it so it just sort of happens, but ...yuck!

It's a fun, and of course a very quick read.

Ok, this swan is one ODD duck!
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