Song of the Swallows

Song of the Swallows

by Leo Politi


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Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi

Song of the Swallows, which won the Caldecott Medal when it was first published in 1948, was written and illustrated by Leo Politi, one of Los Angeles’ most beloved artists.

It tells the famous story of the yearly return of the swallows to the Mission San Juan Capistrano through the eyes of a small child. Julian, the bell ringer of the Mission, tells Juan, a young boy who also lives at the Mission, the story of the swallows and how—without anyone really knowing why or how—they return each year from their winter home in South America to San Juan Capistrano in California. Thrilled by the story, Juan makes his own small garden in the hope that at least one family of swallows will nest there when they return.

This delightful book also includes the music and lyrics for “La Golondrina,” a song about the swallows that Politi composed himself, and Spanish phrases are sprinkled throughout the story. This book provides a delightful introduction for young children California’s centuries-old Latino heritage and Mission culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892369898
Publisher: Getty Publications
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 464,103
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

About the Author

Leo Politi wrote and illustrated dozens of children's books, many of which are set in the Latino communities of Southern California.

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Song of the Swallows 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Song of the Swallows is the story of a young boy named Juan and his elderly friend Julian. Both characters love to walk around the old Spanish Mission church were the swallows come to nest every spring. Juan loves to watch the birds raise their young and teach them to fly. One day the swallows leave to take their annual flight south, but as always they will return on Saint Joseph's Day. Juan is downhearted that his small friends have left but decides that he will make a garden in front of his house. Maybe the some of the swallows will want to next there next spring. The following months are lonely but Juan remains hopeful and finally the swallows return to the Mission...and two come to nest in Juan's little garden. The pictures in Song of the Swallows are simple and childlike. The simplicity of the drawings only adds to the beauty of the story. Since the story centers on a young boy, the pictures portray a dreamlike quality that give the readers a feeling of looking back on a childhood memory. The soft colors that the author uses give the story a timeless quality. Leo received the Caldecott Award in 1950. The story was for ages 4-8.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Song of the Swallows is a wonderful book that teaches children the importance of friendship. It is about a young boy, a gardener and a bell ringer. Everyday Juan, the young boy, and the gardener would ring the bell, which would lure the swallows towards the bells. There is a part in the book where they compare the swallows to people coming home after a long trip, ¿¿the swallows were very much like little folks who had been on a long journey and were happy to be home again¿¿. I really enjoyed the pictures in the book as well as the text. They really tied the story together. This book was written towards four to eight year olds. The book was written by Leo Politi, who was born in Fresno to an Italian family in 1908. When he was seven they went back to Italy where he grew up. He later returned to Los Angeles where he painted. He now has a library and school named for him there. Politi, Leo. Song of the Swallows. United States: Charles Schuster Son¿s, 1949.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books theme is about a friendship between Juan and an old gardener. The gardener and a bell-ringer at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano tell Juan about the old days at the Mission. Everyday they ring the bell together to welcome the swallows from the sea of St. Joseph¿s day. This books genre is a picture book because of its wonderful colorful and beautiful illustrations. My favorite line from the book is ¿They fluttered and twittered joyously and filled the gardens with sweet sound.¿ They two friends are describing the bells as the ring them. The book is for all ages to enjoy it is a lovely story of friendship that the children can understand.