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The Trumpet of the Swan (full color) Paperback – October 2, 2001

246 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Although he lacks a voice in the traditional "Ko-hoh!" sense, trumpeter swan Louis learns to speak to the world with a trumpet stolen from a music store by his father. With the support of an unusual boy named Sam, who helps Louis learn how to read and write, the swan has some rather unswanlike adventures and ultimately wins the love--and the freedom--of a beautiful swan named Serena.

For over 30 years, E.B. White's masterpiece has captured the fancy of countless readers. Now, with stunning new art by award-winning illustrator Fred Marcellino, the beloved story can be experienced anew. The sepia-colored drawings lend an old-fashioned charm to the story--it's almost as if, with their complementary dry wit and uniquely creative talents, White and Marcellino originally worked together. Marcellino received the Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Charles Perrault's Puss in Boots. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"...Humor abounds and beauty of nature, of relationships, of time passing shines through... will captivate children of all ages." -- School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Special edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064410943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064410946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Often overlooked in favor of CHARLOTTE'S WEB (and probably STUART LITTLE, what with the film coming out), THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN is an unforgettable, poetic and deeply moving story of love, friendship, and most importantly, coming to terms with a disability. I read this book as a child, and years later, can appriciate it on a whole new level. Years after I read this book, I was diagnosed with fine and gross motor disabilities, which made tasks like handwriting very difficult for me. Thanks to computers and the like, I have been able to surpass this problem- and am now actually pursuing an English Major in college. One of the things that helped me over the years was thinking back to this book, with its story of Louis the mute swan, whose father commits a crime to give him a trumpet to let his voice be heard and live some semblance of a normal life- and how Louis, in a quest to repay the world for his father's crime, manages to win the heart of his great love and gain world-wide fame. Written in White's own simple yet profound prose (this is the co-author of THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, after all), no one who reads this book will ever forget it. This book literally changed my life- buy a copy, and let it change someone else's life as well.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Aalea1 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story that teaches kids about individuality. The message that comes through says even though no one is perfect, they can find their own voice in the world. This is a story of courage, honesty, redemption, and most of all, love. I was touched by Louis' determination to repay his father's debt and impressed with his strength and character.

Kids and adults will love this classic by E.B White and it makes a great addition to your collection. "The Trumpet of the Swan" has my highest recommendation because it teaches as it entertains.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on January 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I love it when you have to use your imagination in a story and E.B. White is a wonderful story-teller. Whenever I read this book, I think of lazy summer nights by the campfire and someone telling this story to sleepy-eyed children, while the lightening bugs flicker and owls hooting in the distance. It's a great story for all ages.
Louis is born without a voice. He is a Trumpeter Swan and he must have a voice otherwise he won't be able to mate someday. He went to school with his friend, Sam Beaver, and learned to read and write. But that didn't help because none of the other swans knew how to read and write. So his father decided to steal a trumpet for Louis so Louis can "talk." And the adventures for Louis begin as he works all across the USA to pay for the stolen trumpet and the damages to the store. Along the way, Louis finds his true love again and they get married.
It's a wonderful story about courage, honesty and bravery. Louis braved strange places and made himself a living to earn money to pay back his father's debts. It's a deeply imaginative story as well ~~ you can almost see the mist rising off the small pond in Canada in the early sunrise.
No matter how old you are, you are never too old to read this rich story. It's written for everyone who has an imagination. It's a must-read for serious readers ~~ it stays with you for a life-time!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you like swans and adventure, I would highly recommend this book. It is about a boy about 11 years old and Louis, a trumpeter swan who, sadly, has no voice. He needs help because he is in love with Serena, a beautiful female swan, and needs to communicate with her. So Louis flies to Sam's house to go to school and learn to read and write. Louis can't communicate with his own family (they can't read). So his dutiful father steals a real brass trumpet for him. Louis feels very compelled to repair and repay the store from which his father took the trumpet. In the process, Louis takes you out on an exciting adventure to the public gardens and Swan Boats of Boston, the Philadelphia Zoo and more. This is a fun story you'll really enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elena Lavictoire on February 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Trumpet of the Swan turned out to be another big hit for my family and I to share together. You know you have a big hit with my kids when they will do whatever you ask of them just so you will sit there and read the next chapter!!

TOTS is told from a number of different perspectives. It starts off from the perspective of Sam Beaver, a young boy from Montana on vacation with his father in the Canadian Wilderness. Sam is an introspective young man. He likes to explore and think by himself, he worries about his future, and he keeps a journal where he asks himself questions to ponder every night before he goes to sleep. My 8-year-old Noah was quite taken with that idea and I am getting a journal book of his own to write down his thoughts and make little pictures to keep. Sam is also brave and patient. His patience pays off when one day the Mother Swan and her Cob allow their new cygnets to meet him. And that is how Sam meets Lois, the little swan without a voice. In a very tender moment little Lois, who has no voice, pulls Sam's shoe lace as a way to say hello. The imagination of my young sons were so inspired with what it would take to have a wild bird like Lois come that close to them. We can't even get the stray cats in our neighborhood to stand still long enough for a pat on the head!!

The Cob and his wife have come to Canada for the purpose of raising a family. The first couple of chapters are dedicated to the challenges of building a nest and hatching the young cygnets. This is my favorite part of the book! The cob, is a master orator! He never says in anything in 5 words when 50 will do much better! He is arrogant, verbose, flamboyant and charming. He cracked us all up more than once!
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The Trumpet of the Swan (full color)
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