The desert is my mother/ el desierto es mi madre

Like the Pumphrey brothers’ magical THE OLD TRUCK, there’s a wonderfully enigmatic quality to Pat Mora and Daniel Lechon‘s classic picture book, THE DESERT IS MY MOTHER.

With its rhythmic structure and poetic imagery, THE DESERT IS MY MOTHER also has a prescient environmentalist framework, bringing the desert to life by showing all the ways the places where we live shape and nurture us. Plus, the bilingual text centers the experience of Spanish-speaking readers while helping children imagine and reimagine the places of their everyday experience. “I say,” offers the narrator, and the desert gives:

I say teach me.
She blooms in the sun’s glare,
the snow’s silence,
the driest sand.

Le digo, ensename.
Y florence en el brillo del sol,
en el silencio de la nieve,
en las arenas mas secas.

Mora’s desert places teem with life, and all the ways the earth will survive us. Mother’s love is unconditional. It’s never too late to return it.

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