One Lone Swallow

One Lone Swallow
Corinne Fenton and Owen Swan
New Frontier Publishing

This unusual tale is set at the start of the 19th century in Florence. From its opening illustration of a swallow taking flight from her nest high above the city, readers are swept up in the story.

Leaving her nestlings, the swallow flies through the moonlit sky over the rooftops and chimneys searching, searching for her mate. We follow her over the ancient walls and towers, over the chimneys and roofs, under the bridges,

through the arches and above the piazzas, pausing briefly to rest, all the while searching yet knowing that back at the nest her young are calling out their need for food.

Then resuming her search, her eyes detect a slight movement. At the feet of Michelangelo’s statue of David, one wing entangled in ‘shoemakers’ twine’ is her mate.

She takes the end of the twine in her beak and gently begins the task of unravelling the twisted threads. Hidden out of sight lurks a huge rat just waiting to pounce but just in time, with one more pull the last twist of thread comes loose.

Finally not one, but two swallows start their flight back home to their nest.

This is a beautifully told, stunningly illustrated tale of commitment and fidelity. Corinne’s poetic text in combination with Owen Swan’s breath-taking scenes of the twilight Florence of yesteryear make for an extraordinary cultural and aesthetic experience.

Scruffle-Nut / Hugless Douglas Plays Hide-and-Seek

Here are two very different stories with a theme of friendship:

Scruffle-Nut
Corinne Fenton and Owen Swan
New Frontier Publishing

‘As winter leaves tumble and twirl / a wisp of memory / wraps itself about me / and whispers me back / to long ago … ‘

So begins a gentle tale told by Olivia whose childhood memories we share in this sensitively told, equally sensitively illustrated story with its soft-spoken bullying theme.

As a young child her Nanny Clementine would take her to the park and there one day she sees a shy stumpy-tailed little squirrel that is chased away by the squirrels with large bushy tails.

It’s the beginning of a friendship that develops between child and squirrel – a squirrel that is, like the girl, a little different from others.

Time passes, the days turn colder until the snow falls and visits to the park come to a halt and Olivia is left wondering whether Scruffle-Nut, as she calls her friend, will be able to ward off attacks from the Bully-Bunch, the name she gives to the bushy-tail squirrels.

Although she never sees her squirrel friend again, he stays in her heart along with the lesson she learned from him so long ago.

Hugless Douglas Plays Hide-and-Seek
David Melling
Hodder Children’s Books

Playing hide-and-seek with his woolly friends is somewhat problematic for Douglas; he’s always the one to be found first.

But when Little Sheep invites him to team up and become a seeker, he certainly proves his worth; in fact he’s a little too good.

The game continues apace until there’s only Flossie left to find and then in his enthusiasm Douglas picks up the only possible hiding place remaining, in its entirety, which has the desired result. They locate Flossie but then find that Little Sheep is missing.

Can they discover where their friend is before it’s dark?

Another eventful episode from the adorable Douglas to please his fans and more than likely win him a whole lot more.