The miracle of the grey swans by Zhao Lihong. Illus. by Wang Keqiao

cover image

Weiwei and his family live alongside a lake and the unexpected discovery of an injured swan (and her soon-to-hatch eggs) begins a relationship of care and connection that is astounding.  The mother swan needs time to heal and while the father swan is initially fiercely protective, he must join other swans on their migration path and must leave his family behind. Weiwei observes and waits, providing food and a watchful concern for the adopted family of swans. 

This is a gentle story of connection between a young boy and a wild bird family. It does not try to teach or preach and it is really just an environmentally-based situation, reported in a naive style. It is presented in a picture book style with simple illustrations, just longer text than most picture books.  It has a winsome quality and is set within an Asian environment. This is the kind of story that might encourage an interest in the ‘wild’ world outside a child’s window and could be independently read by an early reader aged 6-7, or it would make a lovely, shared bedtime-read or read-aloud for younger children.

Themes: Swans, Migration.

Carolyn Hull