The Swallows Return: Book Review

The Swallows Return by Altan. English edition of the Italian version about the changes spring bringsSpring is coming. Follow the swallows, the butterflies, and the bees as they welcome the change of season.

Title: The Swallows Return
Series: Kika’s First Books
Author: Altan
Translator (English): Natalie Hall
Illustrator: Andrea Cavallini
ISBN: 9781532402937          Language: English

Title: Tornano le rondini          ISBN: 9788847731899          Language: italiano / Italian

Classification: Fiction
Themes: spring, changes

What’s it about?
Follow the swallow as it returns to the countryside to interact with other creatures to celebrate spring.

Large writing! It’s a simple, clear font that perfectly suits the simple language used in the story. The illustrations (though from the 70s) have a charm about them that is not so different from newer releases.

When the swallow returns home there are a couple of pages that seem odd – like they don’t quite fit the story.

The Swallows Return by Altan. English edition of the Italian.My Thoughts
So this is actually a re-release of the book. Originally published in 1978 it was re-released in Italian in 2014 and now it set to be released in English. I certainly don’t mind some of the older books being re-released as one of my daughter’s favourites is Hattie and the Fox from 1986.

“The illustrations are bright, colourful, and reflective of the 70s…”

The simple sentences and illustrations would definitely appeal to young children – I would say from birth to age 3 max. The illustrations are bright, colourful, and reflective of the 70s but not so dated as to turn off readers. The story though…

It starts off well – following the swallows, then the little swallow…and then there is a chick “Colombino” (I wonder if I missed something with the statement), then butterflies…and then bees (at this point the story flows again – bees, flowers, honey). Whether there is a stronger connection in the original Italian version I can’t say but those two pages definitely don’t make sense with the rest of the story pattern in my opinion.

Overall, it’s an okay story but it wouldn’t have been one of my children’s favourites – definitely not one of mine.

Special thanks to Xist Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of the book.

What do you think?