Gathering Sparks (Hardcover)

By Howard Schwartz, Kristina Swarner (Illustrator)

Roaring Brook Press, 9781596432802, 32pp.

Publication Date: August 3, 2010



A grandfather lovingly teaches his grandchild a lesson about the centuries-old concept of tikkun olam. Gently told and gorgeously illustrated, this intergenerational picture book offers a soothing and universal message for our troubled times.

About the Author

Howard Schwartz is the author of Before You Were Born and several other books. His books have won numerous awards, including the National Jewish Book Award and the Sydney Taylor Book Award. A professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as well as a noted folklorist and poet, Howard lives in St. Louis, MO.Kristina Swarner has illustrated numerous books for young readers including Before You Were Born by Howard Schwartz. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Kristina lives in Chicago, IL.

Praise For Gathering Sparks

"The second-person free-verse text is complemented by dreamy, nature-filled mixed-media paintings in smudgy purple, blue and green hues that extend the theme that all are responsible, in whatever small way, for creating and maintaining a peaceful world." Kirkus Reviews


"This is a handsome book with a timeless message." School Library Journal


"A quietly lovely picture book from the author and illustrator of Before You Were Born (2005)."Booklist


"There are many good things children can do to gather sparks, but loving someone, says the grandfather, is the very best. It’s theology that even the youngest can understand; Schwartz’s lulling voice and Swarner’s gentle illustrations make it seem easy and infinitely worth doing."

Publishers Weekly