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Desert Song

Desert Song

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A family joins the music of the Texas desert night in this tale of tradition and memory from Pura Belpré Honor author Laekan Zea Kemp.

It starts with a soft tapping,
Uncle Eduardo drumming his
hands against his dusty jeans.

As the blush of sunset gives way to night in the desert, coyotes, cicadas, and barn owls emerge, each calling out to the moon. Watching from their porch, the family joins the song. One by one, each relative offers their drums, flute, maracas, strings, and voices. 

They sing with the insects, birds, snakes and toads; and they sing with their ancestors, an audience glittering in the stars overhead. With each strum of passed-down instruments, memories renew, and those gone are alive and near again.

Desert Song hums and chimes with all the music a front porch and the desert beyond can hold. Pura Belpré Honor author Laekan Zea Kemp’s masterfully stirring text dances through Beatriz Gutierrez Hernandez’s enchanting and dynamic artwork. Readers will be left with the soothing sense that when creativity flourishes, the past is never out of reach, and the bonds that matter never break.

Simultaneously published in Spanish as Canción del desierto.