Saturday, October 31, 2009

Swan in Love by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jo Ellen MsAllister Stammen

Okay, this is one of those books. Those books that you could read over and over again that I will for sure have to buy. It is about a swan who falls in love with a swan shaped boat named Dora. Through all the ridicule that he receives from his fellow pond-dwellers he loves her. The swan doesn't even leave her side when the winter comes then, and not to ruin it, when she is sunk, the swan dies with her. Now this is not just the romantic in me (I loved this book so much I made my boyfriend read it, when he had finished he looked up at me and said "yea you would like this book hunny") though it does tug at my heart strings to read a story of undying love. No, this story spoke to me on an entirely different level. On the surface this book is about a swan and his Dora, but below that lies a controversial issue. The swans in this story could easily be swapped for a modern day homosexual couple. Everyone tries to tell them that their love is wrong, but it makes no difference to them. In the same way, you could insert a multi-racial couple, again people would likely frown on this union, but it doesn't matter. It is summed up nicely in several quotes that must be shared.
"The other swans muttered among themselves. "He makes us look stupid. Doesn't he know she's not one of us?" Swan knew. He knew that it didn't matter. The fish laughed their silvery laughs. "Swans in love. Doesn't he know she's different?" Swan knew. He knew that difference makes no difference to love."
"The frogs who lived in the thin lake reeds croaked, "This is wrong, wrong, wrong!" Swan heard. He knew that love was never wrong."
"Sometimes at night an opossum tiptoed down drink the lake water. "It would be wiser if you gave your love to another swan," she said. Swan listened politely. He knew that love wasn't always wise. "
*Sigh* Beautiful story, beautiful illustrations. Just read it.

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