Seabrooke (The Bridges of Summer, 1992, etc.) gives the narrative a formal tone in this sentimental tale about the farmer, Anton, who turns to hunting to provide for his starving family and can't find anything to shoot. When he finally spies a swan, he realizes that it's too beautiful to kill. The swan flaps its wings and diamonds fall to the ground; Anton ends up with enough food for the rest of the winter and his family prospers. Ma exhibits an admirable economy of style in his pencil and watercolor pictures of rustic settings and peasants in dress that looks vaguely Eastern European; he achieves a pleasant contrast between the transparent layers of paint and the sculpted figures. A somewhat precious story but the pictures keep it afloat.