The Definitive Guide to

Southwest Sunrise

Written by Nikki Grimes & illustrated by Wendell Minor
Published by Bloomsbury USA
4.94 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.1 / 5.0
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Prices as of Jan 27
Retail Price
used $8.06
May 5, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“Impressive text beautifully describes a boy’s transition from New York City to New Mexico.”

Jayden pouts on the plain as he makes the trip from New York City to his new home in New Mexico, unexcited for the lack of skyscrapers and the dull tans and browns awaiting him. But when Jayden wakes up the next morning to “a knife of sunlight slicing through” his new room, he is surprised to see out his “barless” bedroom window a colorful landscape “striped in rainbow.” Venturing outside with the field guide Mom gave him at breakfast, who knows that her city-raised son is still quite knowledgeable about nature, Jayden smiles as he unexpectedly discovers colorful flowers, unfamiliar animals, and wide-open skies that leave him feeling like he could “think about calling this place Home.” Minor’s gouache watercolor illustrations fittingly display the desert setting and highlight Jayden’s comparisons of New Mexico to his previous home in the city. The most impressive aspect of the book is Grimes’ stunning and poetic diction—magpies “sail on air and write across the sky with the long black tips of their tails.” The text beautifully encompasses reservations about moving and the joys of new discoveries, elevating an unoriginal topic to a unique and enjoyable story.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

From Children’s Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.

The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . .

When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he’s uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious.

Flowers in bright shades . . .
Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
Red rock pillars towering in the distance . . .
Turquoise sky as far as the eye can see . . .

Perhaps this place could be home after all.

Gorgeously poetic and visually stunning, this story from acclaimed creators Nikki Grimes and Wendell Minor celebrates the beauty of the Southwest as a young boy sees it for the very first time.

Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner
A New York Times Editor’s Choice

What Kind of Book is Southwest Sunrise

Quotes from This Book

  • “Daddy should’ve told me this new place has its own skyscrapers!”
  • “I wake up to a knife of sunlight slicing through the room Dad says is mine.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.0 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.25 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.5 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
5.0 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Southwest Sunrise

Book Topics › transitions
Children's Books About Transitions
Book Topics › watercolor
Children's Books About Watercolor
Book Topics › gouache
Children's Books About Gouache
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Who Wrote Southwest Sunrise

Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book, What is Goodbye?, the novels Jazmin’s Notebook, Dark Sons, and The Road to Paris (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books). Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.

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Who Illustrated Southwest Sunrise

Wendell Minor

Wendell Minor has illustrated dozens of picture books, and his work has won countless awards and is in permanent collections of such institutions as the Museum of American Illustration and the Library of Congress. His cover illustrations have graced some of the most significant novels of our time by authors such as Toni Morrison, David McCullough, and James Michener. He lives in Washington, Connecticut. Visit him online at

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What Has Nikki Grimes Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Nikki know that you want more details about Southwest Sunrise!

What Has Wendell Minor Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Wendell know that you want more details about Southwest Sunrise! Try tweeting Wendell on twitter (@wendellminor).

Nikki Grimes's Book Dedication

For Oghenebrume Naomi Anigboro, Imani Lia’s sweet creature

Wendell Minor's Book Dedication

For Nikki

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Book Details

Publication Date:
May 5, 2020
Text Details:
Typeset in Mrs Eaves.
Illustration Details:
Art created with gouache watercolor on Strathmore 500 Bristol Paper.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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Core Score - 66%
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Depth Score - 21%
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