Desert Jungle (Hardcover)

Desert Jungle By Jeannie Baker, Jeannie Baker (Illustrator) Cover Image

Desert Jungle (Hardcover)

By Jeannie Baker, Jeannie Baker (Illustrator)


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Striking mixed-media art from the creator of Mirror lights up the Sonoran Desert, revealing—through one wary boy’s experience—a habitat that is anything but barren and desolate.

In a desert valley, surrounded by mountains of rock and cactus, is the tiny village the boy calls home. He never wanders far, frightened of coyotes and the dusty wilds beyond. On a visit to Grandpa’s ranch, he resists the invitation to explore an area where his grandfather grew up, far from any village. The boy would rather play it safe on his tablet. But one of the creatures he fears has other plans for him, and soon the vast desert “jungle” begins to share its secrets—wonders beyond imagining. Inspired by a research trip to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, and illustrated with richly detailed and layered mixed-media collage, Jeannie Baker’s gentle family story of awakening to nature is informed by the concept of nature deficit disorder, a subject she explores in the author’s note. Her extensive afterword also illuminates the enormous biodiversity of one of the world’s most magnificent—and misunderstood—habitats.
Jeannie Baker is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed picture books, including Mirror, Circle, and the award-winning Where the Forest Meets the Sea. Born in England, she now lives in Australia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781536225778
ISBN-10: 1536225770
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: May 9th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English
Textured collages encourage appreciation for the Sonoran Desert in Baker’s marvelous book. . . Cacti glochids nearly prick from the pages as standout three-dimensional art communicates both the dry scratchiness of the environment and its quiet biodiversity, vividly capturing a frequently misunderstood place.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Profoundly stirring. . . . Rich in sights and insights alike.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Baker's most recent work touts why it is important to be aware of, and be an advocate for, the environment in one's surroundings. . . . Known for her masterful collage illustrations which utilize textures from the actual materials portrayed (such as bark, cracked paint, and earth) the artist's depiction of the desert captures the beauty of carbon cacti and elephant trees mixed with curios and other desert plants. . . Teachers and librarians will find this book to be the perfect resource for introducing a unit on the importance of outdoor education.
—School Library Connection (starred review)

[Baker’s] signature three-dimensional collage illustrations, with their rich colors and textures, bring the desert habitat to life. Vines climb up the pages, snakes seem to slither atop the sand, and cacti look as if they could poke you if you carelessly touch a page.
—The Horn Book