I’m so excited to share some recent links to reviews of Spit and Sticks! I am getting great feedback from readers, parents, friends and followers. I’ll keep updating this post with more reviews as they come in:
- Kirkus Reviews: November Treats: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/november-treats/
- Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: extended review from Kirkus Reviews: http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=3918
- Special Feature on Bird Watching Daily: http://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/featured-stories/for-very-young-readers-a-beautifully-illustrated-tale-about-a-family-of-chimney-swifts/
Perhaps the book’s greatest asset is its illustrations, by Nicole Gsell. I would imagine that a tale for children about a drab-colored bird, no matter how engaging, would be a tough sell to publishers. Gsell, however, presents a world bursting with color: Yes, her watercolors show the birds in shades of gray, but what stands out are the many hues of green, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red in the yard, the sky, the chimney, and other settings.
Grohoske Evans’s words and Gsell’s illustrations, I would venture to bet, will help many a young reader discover and appreciate the fascinating little swifts that nest in our chimneys and swoop through our summer skies.
- Pubilisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-58089-588-0
Teachers, parents and librarians who ask for more diversity in picture books might also applaud Gsell’s depiction of a mixed-race family in Spit & Sticks. Though the father in the book seemingly transcends ethnicity—conceivably American Indian, Mexican American or African American—the publisher receives credit for inclusivity when imagining a rural family in Texas.