Agave Blooms Just Once
Agave Blooms Just Once is a poetic alphabet book that highlights
thirteen plants and thirteen animals found in the Sonoran Desert. "A
is for agave/it blooms just once, then dies./B is for bobcat/with sharp
and searching eyes." Stylized capital letters based on Hohokam American
Indian pottery designs frame the text.
Informative, realistic illustrations on the right-hand page show the
plants and animals described in the text. Gisela Jernigan's experiences
as a children's librarian and mother are apparent in the rhyming lines
that enhance the impact of this book as a read-aloud and as a selection
for emerging readers. The pen and ink illustrations by Wesley Jernigan
bring the desert environment alive with line, shape, and color. Mr.
Jernigan is an anthropologist as well as a graphic designer.
The book includes a glossary and pronunciation guide. An author's note
explains that, except for the tumbleweed, all the plants and animals
in the book are native to the Sonoran Desert. The book integrates well
into the science curriculum as it provides an appealing early literacy
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