Southwest Children's  Literature

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Desert Song

Book Review:

This book provides great detail about the beauty of the desert. It is organized in short stanzas, which give a brief description of the desert activity. The story begins with the changes from day into night. Twilight has come and the animals of the night become alive in the desert. The motions and noises of the animals, insects, and plants, all create the songs of the desert. They enhance the beauty that is already present. Morning soon comes, the creatures return to their homes, it becomes night again, and the cycle continues.

The illustrations in this book capture the true colors of the desert. The illustrator Ed Young used watercolors as well as pieces of colored paper. He overlapped the papers, which in some images gives a three-dimensional appearance. The papers seemed to be both tissue paper and construction paper. On some pages, he used oil pastels. His combination of media makes for a successful outcome.

Desert Song is a wonderful book for children in terms of storyline and illustrations. Living in the desert of Arizona makes this book quite appropriate for all readers. Tony Johnston used creative words to express the activities of the desert. Johnston has written hundreds of children's books. She lives in San Marino, California. Ed Young has visited Arizona, but lives in Westchester Country, New York. The author and the illustrator worked hand-in-hand in creating a lively piece of work. Readers can hear and see the songs of the desert as they read this story .


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