Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White – Using Uncluttered Language

Synopsis: Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection — he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?
For the Writer: E.B. White is a classic storyteller. Unadorned text, uncluttered story line and simple language are the foundations stones to this story. In recent years (think The Westing Game, Artemis Fowl, Tunnels and Wildwood) there has been an explosion of books that treat words like sculpting balloons, to be bent and twisted into hundreds of shapes just for the fun of it. I do not mean this as a criticism, though there are dangers, such as drawing to much attention to the author’s virtuosity and upstaging the story rather than putting the story centre stage. In simplicity of language, in an author’s desire to make things clear above all else, the story, I believe, can resonate more deeply, and as in the case of The Trumpet and The Swan, it ages better.

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