Amid the borderlands, a whitetail fawn thrives and survives in Morales’ latest seed of hope.
“Child, you are awake!” A fawn gazes back at readers, curled up in the desert dirt alongside the cacti and blossoms. “You are alive!” It’s a summoning, a reckoning with the wonders—visible and not visible—of life. The opulent artwork thrums with blooms of orange, brown, and green, featuring vibrant images made of digitally altered drawings, photographs, yarn, wool, among other things. The fawn observes and prances, exploring underneath the warm desert sun. It’s a celebration. But: “Oh, no! What is that?” Faded gray spikes pierce the frame from behind. “Lie low. We want you safe.” The fawn’s left alone, crouched close to the earth as gray smoke suffocates the desert air. Soon, the fawn stands before a concrete wall crowned with barbed wire, bellowing among upturned cacti and other creatures unable to move ahead. “Let the world know what you feel!” In English text that holds Spanish within it, Morales meditates on community, imagination, immigration, and the natural world, often pulling from current events and recent societal traumas. Thanks to some awe-inspiring moments and rather startling images, the fawn’s journey moves at a dreamy pace, inviting further rereads. A powerful author’s note weaves in a visceral sense of urgency. Lucero, an all-Spanish version translated by Eida Del Risco, publishes simultaneously.
Utterly beautiful.(further resources) (Picture book. 4-8)