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THE SWAN’S CHILD by Sjoerd Kuyper

THE SWAN’S CHILD

By Sjoerd Kuyper (Author) , Jan Jutte (Illustrator) , Patricia Crampton (Translator)

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: March 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1861-8
Publisher: Holiday House

Jonathan Livingston Seagull meets greeting-card platitudes in this import. When a baby girl arrives riding a swan, the animal townspeople know just what to do: throw food and milk into the quay and let the swan care for the baby until she is too heavy and can walk, bow-legged, on the land. Her new community nurtures Josie, as she is named by her adoptive pig father Sanders. And she will need that community because Sanders comes to an untimely death and Josie faces the first of many losses. The sunny pen-and-ink illustrations can not lift the cloud of sadness from Josie—first she loses her father, then her soldier husband and, in a jump of time that skips over the joy of parenthood directly to the aloneness of old age, Josie helps her beloved villagers to say goodbye to her. Dream sequences with the Tar Men, the harbingers of death, only befuddle. Meant to comfort and present readers with the image of the circle of life, this confusing tale is simply maudlin. (Fiction. 10-14)