Southwest Sunrise by Nikki Grimes; illustrated by Wendell Minor. 2020. Gouache watercolors. Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.
Brief summary: Jayden travels from New York to live in New Mexico. He arrives in the dark and does not know until the sunrise that he is near a mountain. With his field guide in hand, the young boy explores earth around him in awe of the colors of the vegetation and the sounds of the birds. He comes across a neighbor’s house made with pinkish clay called an adobe. He is aware of the quietness of the desert without the sirens and chatter. He returns with a handful of flowers to give to his mother.
Comments: I would introduce a desert unit with this desert book and discuss the things that are alike and different in Jayden’s old and new habitats.
Illustrations are vibrant and often spread across two pages. The front end pages are of New York City, and the back end pages are of the desert.