cover image Spit & Sticks: A Chimney Full of Swifts

Spit & Sticks: A Chimney Full of Swifts

Marilyn Grohoske Evans, illus. by Nicole Gsell. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-588-0

A biracial family of three prepares to welcome a new baby boy while swifts nesting in the chimney of their quaint Texas country home raise their own fledglings. In calming prose, debut author Evans keeps the narrative focus on the birds (“Chittering, the fledglings jubilantly feast and frolic, consuming tons of insects”), letting the human family’s story play out silently in Gsell’s soft, loose watercolors, which include digitally collaged elements. Together, Evans and Gsell convey the quiet intersection of human and animal life, while an endnote offers more detailed information about the migration of chimney swifts. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Sept.)