The Trumpet of the Swan

by E.B. White (1970)

E.B. White wrote three novels for children.  You probably know Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.  Now is the time to discover or re-visit the equally special and beloved The Trumpet of the Swan.

The book starts with the appealing Sam Beaver, a budding naturalist who witnesses a clutch of baby Trumpeter Swans born in the wilds of Canada.  Through Sam’s patient, curious, observant eyes we learn to see and appreciate nature, quietly and privately.

Then we meet Cygnus Buccinator and his mate searching for the perfect spot to raise their family.  When their son, Louis, is born without the ability to honk, his father will stop at nothing to ensure his son can communicate.

We spend the rest of our time with the resourceful Louis and his quest to learn to express himself, to earn the money to pay for his stolen trumpet, and eventually to woo the swan of his desiring.  His adventures will take him all the way from the wilds of Montana, to a summer camp in the Great Lakes, to the Boston Public Garden (and a night in the Ritz Hotel!), and even to a jazz club in Philadelphia.

Schools and families will all benefit from spending time with E.B. White’s charming, sterling, matchless prose.  And The Trumpet of the Swan always appeals to a broad range of readers as it includes comedy (ordering room service), drama (a hurricane), an appreciation of nature (Sam Beaver’s journal), and enterprise (Louis works no less than three jobs).

In addition to the rich set of family literacy resources Read to Them provides, we’ve also created a set of financial literacy materials so your school can use Louis’s enterprising adventures to study nature, math, and economics. 

We invite you to return to bucolic yesteryear, and share The Trumpet of Swan with your school community of readers.

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