Southwest Sunrise

Bloomsbury. May 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781547600823.
K-Gr 3–Moving is never easy, but it’s particularly tough for Jayden, a child moving from New York City to a desert home in New Mexico. Jayden’s transition from sullen to surprised, irritated to intrigued, is evident in his observant, lyrical narration. Initially he’s convinced that “browns and tans are the only colors deserts are good for.” Once he steps outside, however, he spies colorful “fancy-named flowers” like the winecup and yellow bells that he identifies using the field guide given to him by his mother. As he walks, he continues to spot more interesting plants and animals—hanging red chili peppers, black tips on magpie wings, and a kingly raven, so similar to the city’s crows. Though Jayden will likely continue to miss his old home, readers can feel confident that he’ll find new pleasures and treasures in his new one. Soft lines and gentle colors of gouache illustrations allow readers to share in Jayden’s discoveries.
VERDICT A useful purchase for libraries. This evocative and engaging title can be read on several levels.

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