A brown-skinned girl with straight, black hair who lives in what looks to be the American Southwest lists the “wonderful sights I love to see.”
From rainbows and clouds to birthday-cake candles and jelly beans, the unnamed narrator celebrates what she sees. Most are natural phenomena—dewdrops, an earthworm, flowers in spring—but other choices reveal an imaginative bent: “Reflections in a silver spoon. / The man who’s winking in the moon.” Freeman places Hudson’s narrator in a desert landscape with saguaros and weathered buttes. One quietly dramatic double-page spread depicts the narrator from above as she crouches on the parched earth, studying “An army of ants on the move. / A blade of grass in a sandy groove.” Given this concrete sense of place, the abrupt transition from one page to an ocean beach and from another to the unlikely image of snowflakes drifting down onto the desert from a partly cloudy sky are incongruous. The child’s specific ethnicity is not provided, but an image of the narrator’s brother hiding behind an earthenware jar and another of the child with an adult, both wrapped in a bright, woven blanket, hint at an indigenous heritage. A further image of the child in a thoroughly modern bathtub makes clear that this child and her family are thriving in the present day. Series companion Friends I Love to Keep, by Wade Hudson and also illustrated by Freeman, publishes simultaneously and depicts an energetic black girl in a comfortable, middle-class setting with a multiracial group of friends.
A bright and bubbly outing with an infectiously cheerful protagonist. (Picture book. 3-5)