“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.
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
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.
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 MinorArt.com.
For Oghenebrume Naomi Anigboro, Imani Lia’s sweet creature