Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On our bookshelf: The Song of the Swallows

As I mentioned in my earlier entry about St. Joseph's Day altars,  I've been fascinated with the miracle that occurs every March 19 at San Juan Capistrano Mission in Southern California.  On that day, a large group of swallows return from their winter homes in Argentina and begin building their mud nests under the eaves of the church on this historic mission site.  Previously, they would arrive in large groups (sometimes described as a "cloud of swallows"), but due to development in the area, fewer are returning to the mission church. (So sad!)

I started telling my son about the miracle of the swallows when he was about 3 years old, and he asks me to re-tell it every year on St. Joseph's Day. One year, we found a perfect read-aloud book to match the story: The Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi.  It's a fictional story about a young boy named Juan who visits the mission and learns about the swallows from Julian, the mission's gardener. I especially love the book's simple illustrations, many which are in soothing pastel shades. The illustrations helped the book a Caldecott award in 1950.

Many libraries have a copy of this classic book, or you can pick up a copy of it from Powell's Books online. They have new and used copies starting at just $1.95.  Here is a link to the book on their website:  Song of the Swallows

If you are a homeschooler, check out Homeschoolshare for language arts, math, art and other activities you can do to accompany the book.

1 comment:

  1. what a lovely book ! this sounds like something I would love to read to my child. thanks for sharing. especially the link.