The Desert Is My Mother introduces the partnership of an award-winning poet and a prize-winning painter to create a beautiful poetic and artistic rendition of the relationship between people and nature. Rather than being an expanse empty of life and value, the desert is lovingly presented as the provider of comfort, food, spirit and life.
"With a playful text, this bilingual picture book celebrates a child’s connection with her desert home … The feelings are universal, the words precise and physical."—Booklist
"With the simplest of words, Mora invokes the grand powers of the desert...Mora’s bilingual text … communicates quiet joy and reverence."—Publishers Weekly
"A lovely extension of the metaphor expressed in the title, the text of this poem is a soothing recitation of the many ways in which the desert cares for the speaker: ‘I say feed me./She serves red prickly pear on a spiked cactus.’"—Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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"Pat Mora’s poem in two languages is a lean and spare tribute to the sights, sounds, and feel of the desert."—Library Talk
"The Desert Is My Mother celebrates the desert settings of the U.S. Southwest as bountiful spaces that bring forth life and nurture body and soul."—Américas
"The Desert is My Mother deserves favorable mention as an excellent bilingual story of a young girl who celebrates the seasons of the nurturing desert. Striking color illustrations marks her reflections on desert life."—Midwest Book Review
"Like her Australian counterpart, children’s author Mem Fox, the Texan children’s author Pat Mora demonstrates the art of lean prose … Here, like a loving mother, the desert, el desierto, feeds, heals, and caresses."—Southwest Children’s Review
"The lyrical bilingual text of Pat Mora's The Desert is My Mother/El Desierto es Mi Madre explores a child's relationship with the desert as a living, breathing presence. Kristine Klanderud explores a spectrum of moods, from a childlike playfulness with lilting laughter in her voice ( I say tease me. / She sprinkles raindrops in my face on a sunny day. / Le digo, juguetea conmigo. / Me salpica la cara con gotitas de lluvia en día asoleado. ) to a plea for reassurance after a fright ( I say hold me. / She whispers, Lie in my arms ). Both the Spanish and English text needed to be presented with equal fluency, says Klanderud, whose background in musical theater helped immensely. It called for a wide range of emotions with consistency in mood and intention in both languages. To accomplish this, each segment was recorded once in English and Spanish, instead of recording the whole text separately in each language."—Kirkus Reviews
Pat by a mural of The Desert is My Mother, by Susan Gamble (1997) at the Valencia Branch of the Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ. See mural close-up.