This House Is Made of Mud / Esta casa esta hecha de lodo
This quiet, lyrical book about a small house in the Sonoran desert brings to mind the joint efforts of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall. The narrator, an unseen child, relates everything about her environment in words of simple beauty: ``This house is round, like the Earth, and the Sun, and the Moon. . . . This house was made of mud by our family. Made from the same thing our Earth is made of.'' The child describes the weather (``The Sun comes every day. The Wind comes, but never stays'') and the local creatures (``Everyone has a name, but they are all called Friends, because they share our yard''), capturing the unique and exotic allure of the desert. The pages are well designed, with generous amounts of white surrounding each illustration further enhancing the sense of desert open space. The watercolor paintings are executed in the lush hues of a Southwestern sunset. This debut collaboration is a lovely evocation of a child's appreciation for--and sense of security in--her own small corner of the world.