From Publishers Weekly
With the simplest of words, Mora (Listen to the Desert/Oye al desierto) invokes the grand powers of the desert. A girl with long, dark hair narrates: "I say feed me. She serves red prickly pear on a spiked cactus.... I say frighten me. She shouts thunder, flashes lightning." To underscore the dream-like quality of the narrator's thoughts about the desert, Lechon places the girl alternately outside or partially within the frames of paintings that float on a desert-like textured background. However, he seems capable of endowing her with only saccharine expressions, and her facial features change drastically from one spread to the next. His trite characterizations suppress the beauty of Mora's bilingual text, which, especially in Spanish, communicates quiet joy and reverence. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-8. With a playful, poetic text, this bilingual picture book celebrates a child's connection with her desert home. "I say feed me. / She serves red prickly pear on a spiked cactus." On each double-page spread the child makes a demand, and the pictures show how the desert satisfies her. The feelings are universal; the words are precise and physical. ("I say make me beautiful. / She offers turquoise for my fingers, a pink blossom for my hair"). There's some wry humor ("I say tease me"), and always there's the unexpected ("I say frighten me"). The illustrations extend the imagery to show a dreamy child with long, black hair: she watches the scary lightning storm in the desert night; she sees the particular flowers that bloom in the sun's glare and in the driest sand. This child is fostered by the joy and awe of lonely places. Hazel Rochman