Succinct and factual text follows chimney swifts as they arrive on a Texas farm, build their nest, lay eggs, ready for fledglings to take flight, and eventually prepare to migrate back to South America. In a parallel, wordless story, a mom, dad, and young girl on the farm watch the chimney swifts throughout the summer and fall, even as they build a new crib and ready for the new baby they’re expecting.
Ella comes down one morning to feed her pets and finds that they have disappeared. She discovers them floating away on balloons, high in the sky. Try as she might, she can’t get them to come back. But although they are out of reach, Ella soon learns they are not truly gone as long as they remain in her heart and her memories. Written in gentle rhyming verse with light-hearted illustrations, Ella and the Balloons in the Sky is a story that tackles the tough subject of love and loss in a new way–with whimsy, magic, and lightness.
The little girl in this story likes Sundays best of all — it’s the day her father calls. She hasn’t seen him for over a year because he works far away across the ocean in the United States. She writes in her notebook every day, keeping a record of everything that happens to share with him when she finally sees him again. And she thinks about the fun they used to have when he was home — taking their dog Kika to the park and buying freshly baked bread together. Then one Sunday her father asks if she and her mother would like to join him, and she’s surprised by her mixed feelings. It means leaving her grandmother, her friends . . . and Kika behind.
This is a powerful story from a young child’s perspective about what it’s like to have an absent parent and to have to leave your home, country and those you love for a new life.