A small boy sees the wide sweep of desert which extends ""to where the sky bends down to touch the land"" as his own intriguing garden. Unfortunately, the prize-winning author has sentimentalized a sophisticated idea. The boy seems pampered and prissy when he begs the ""bad"" cactus to be a ""good"" cactus, and not hurt him. In superficial, free verse, Miss Clark records the reactions of the child (who has an annoying habit of personifying everything) wandering with a vague shadow-like woman-- ia Maria. Several of the vivid illustrations are full of movement and surpass the text in quality.