Author: Grimes, Nikki
Jayden expects to see nothing but brown his first morning in New Mexico, but after being surprised by colorful rocks, flowers, birds, and animals, he wonders if this place could become home.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 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.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2020 Young Jayden is less than enthusiastic about moving from New York City to the rural Southwest. What's so great about New Mexico? he pouts. The next morning he takes a walk, discovering brightly colored flowers in his yard, a pink adobe house, magpie-filled piñon trees, wide turquoise skies, a skittering lizard, and red rock pillars that seem to hold up the sky. Grimes' lyrical prose captures the sights and sounds of the land of enchantment, allowing Jayden the opportunity to fully appreciate his new surroundings. Minor's frame-worthy illustrations, rendered in gouache watercolor, depict this family as African American and showcase New Mexico's magnificent landscapes. His attention to local flora and fauna is especially noteworthy. Interior details (a portrait of the Statue of Liberty hanging over Jayden's bed, ropes of red chili peppers in the kitchen, and local pottery) add to the story's appeal, as do the endpapers (New York City in the front, a New Mexico vista at the end). Upbeat, eye-catching, and guaranteed to convince even reluctant newcomers to New Mexicans. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
Booklist - 04/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.