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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Cygie is a young cygnet, a baby swan. He and his siblings are learning how to feed underwater. That’s where they get their food, mostly water plants, but sometimes small fish, fish eggs, and insects. They have to duck their heads into the water, tails up as if they’re about to dive underwater. Cygie’s not so sure he likes this idea, as it makes his face wet and his nose hurts. He’s convinced he’d do better on land and sets out to find some bugs. Only it’s not as easy as he thought, especially when he’s threatened by a fox.
Barbara Renner’s picture book story, Summer! Time to Search for Food: A Story about Trumpeter Swans, is a lovely tribute to a beautiful waterfowl. Beginning with a little background on trumpeter swans, the author introduces key terms like cob, cygnet, pen, and others. Then she tells the story about Cygie the young cygnet and how he learns to find his food without hurting his nose. The beautiful illustrations help carry this story along. The author concludes with some interesting facts about trumpeter swans, a list of additional resources, and a lovely illustration for the young reader to color. There is even a link to an online resource that will provide audio of the trumpeter swan’s call. The story is told in simple language so a young reader can read along and learn some new words associated with trumpeter swans. There is lots of educational value to this story as well as it being an interesting read.