Southwest Children's Literature

Sun Logo

Agave Blooms Just Once

Book Review:

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 experience.

to mainpage

About the Book | Book Review | Children's Voices | Interview | Lesson Plan | About the Reviewer