The Trumpet of the Swan

Narrated by: E.B. White
Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (643 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Louis is a Trumpeter Swan, but he has no voice. Though he is frightened when his father explains to him that he is different from the other cygnets, Louis is resourceful and determined. Leaving his wild and beautiful home, he finds a young human friend, Sam Beaver, who helps him learn to read and write. When he returns to the lake, Louis discovers his education isn't enough: the beautiful swan he loves, Serena, can't read his declarations of love, and he can't trumpet them. Louis' resolution to win the swan of his desire launches him on an adventure that will take him far from home and lead where fate and love have a few surprises in store.

With humor and lyric beauty, E.B. White tells a timeless tale of love, courage, and freedom that will capture the imagination of every listener.

©1970 E.B. White (P)1992 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"In his New England drawl, E.B. White captures our imagination with his splendid reading of his classic children's tale." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Trumpet of the Swan

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rediscover a forgotten classic

Why this book doesn't get much mention or attention is beyond my comprehension. Of his three children's novels, this one is the best.

If you enjoyed Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, you will definitely enjoy this one, too. We are very fortunate to have the author read this timeless classic of love, friendship, and conquering the difficulties of life. The animated film version that was done a few years ago doesn't do justice to this wonderful book.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful children's story to be enjoyed by anyone

This is a wonderful story about a trumpeter swan who cannot make a sound. There is nature, adventure, morality, and romance all in this one small book. It is purely fictitious, for the swan learns to read and write (and other amazing things). Yet, the descriptions of the swans are very educational and entertaining. For example, the scene in which the swan builds her nest was quite informative yet very engaging. The author narrates and has a wonderful voice and style. It's a book we have listened to several times, yet it never gets old. My children were about 5 and 8 when we first listened to it. At 11 and 14 we recently listened again, with equal pleasure.

4 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommended! Great Narration

Out of his vast library of children's audiobooks, this is the one my 7-year-old son keeps coming back to as his preferred listen for falling asleep each night. Something about EB White's voice is both captivating and reassuring (his narration of Charlotte's Web is also excellent). I think it's an excellent story for kids age 4 and up. Boys especially are likely to identify with the characters of Sam (the boy) and Louis (the swan).

4 people found this helpful

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Such a fun story!

I remember hearing this story the first time in 3rd grade. I loved it then and now hearing it again with my 2nd grade students, I love it still. E. B. White is a masterful storyteller.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story, but I prefer professional narrators

This is a story that I somewhat remember from my youth and the story itself is terrific- one of the classic children's stories.

That being said, I am not a fan of authors doing their own narration as the skill sets are completely different. He was not up to the task in my opinion and don't think his voice works for kids very well. If I compare his narration to BD Wong's in the Mouse and the Motorcycle there is just no comparison- Mr. Wong added much to Beverly Cleary's story while EB White was a distraction to his at times.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect first audio book for kids

We loved this book. It got us through a long road trip to grandma's, and now the kids listen to it at home in the living room. It's read by E.B. White, and he is wonderful. And its a great story. I have a five and almost three year old. The five year old LOVES it, the three year old is okay with it. I enjoyed it too, and it definitely made the car ride nicer for everyone. The first part is slow, but so worth it. Now I just need to find another one for our next trip . . .

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

The story of Louis and his trumpet was riveting for both the adults and the children in our car while listening to this on vacation. E.B. White's voice is especially soothing and we thoroughly enjoyed this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Even as an adult, this is still my favorite book.

I love White's narration, it really adds to the whole experience--almost like your grandfather reading you a story before bed.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Simple sweet story for the family

I vividly remember my third grade teacher reading this book outloud to my class so I eagerly wanted to introduce the story to my children. My kids are used to action, magic, suspense and very busy books so admittedly it took a while for them (and my husband) to get into the story. The author's voice is so soothing and his love for the characters was evident. The trumpet sounds were a big hit and we were all rooting for Louis and his family. It's a nice break from the modern stories today with lessons about honor, truth and love.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another winner

This is the best audiobook my girls and I have listened to. With the trumpet being played, it was even better than self reading. Again, my girls were glued to their iPods, or wherever we happened to be listening at the time. E.B. White does a great job.

4 people found this helpful