Alejandro's Gift


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About the Author

Richard Albert began his career as a writer of pulp Westerns, but the demands of his family and his engineering career resulted in a thirty-year hiatus from writing. This is his first book for children.

Sylvia Long is the illustrator of several books for children including the best sellers Ten Little Rabbits and Alejandro's Gift. Ms. Long's detailed paintings are inspired by her love of animals and the outdoors. She lives in Arizona. Read more about Sylvi


--KIRKUS REVIEWS, February 15, 1994
In his first children's book, an 84-year-old depicts a homely desert sage: whitebearded Alejandro, who welcomes visitors who stop for water from his well. Human callers are few at this remote spot among the Southwest's cactus, but a variety of little animals enjoy the water irrigating his small garden. Hoping to attract larger species, the old man creates a water hole. As he soon realizes, it's too close to his house and to the road; but once he's made another, in a sheltered spot, he can hear all the desert animals enjoying it. Long fills generous full-bleed spreads with evocative, meticulously detailed pen-and-watercolor illustrations of a desert landscape well populated with the wildlife listed in the text. If matching these is a challenge, 26 species are sorted out in an appendix. A likable, beautifully presented picture of a human being responding to his natural surroundings with sensitivity and imagination. (Picture book, 4-8)
Deep in the Southwestern desert, a kindly and observant homesteader decides he will create a waterhole for gray fox and peccary, gopher and tortoise. Then the magic begins. A book entllralling beyond words.
This tender story by an elderly writer about an old man who lives alone in the desert has an autobiographical ring. After Alejandro plants a lush vegetable garden to help pass the time, he is thrilled by the many small animals that come to drink in its furrows. But when he realizes that there are many larger creatures going thirsty, he generously builds a sheltered waterhole away from his adobe home. The handsome watercolors by Long ( April 15, 1994 In his first children's book, octogenarian Albert uses the appealing story of a lonely man as the framework for an edifying lesson on desert wildlife. Living in a remote adobe house, with only his burro for a companion, Alejandro is delighted when a squirrel appears in his garden one day and eventually returns with more visitors--jackrabbits, roadrunners, cactus wrens--all realistically portrayed by Long ( February 1994

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