A Rose in the Desert
by Chi Emerole & Ryan Durney
THE SHORT VERSION
What the Story is About: A Rose in the Desert is the story of a young girl, Rose, who awakens on her seventh birthday on the Tibetan mountains of Chad in a refugee camp. She is however determined to have a beautiful birthday. The story follows Rose through an adventurous day with her family and friends. Do you think she succeeded in her quest for a beautiful birthday?
What I Thought: The illustrations are wonderful dark shades depicting a refugee camp that has not lost hope, the desire to live, and the good nature to survive as a family unit. The images realistically depict an African backdrop with wild elephants and giraffes roaming the savannah. This is actually a very pleasant setting. The school has few students and meets outdoors where the engaged students seem interested in learning.
Young Rose lacks a conflict to solve and grow by on this particular day. I want to clarify this. Yes, this child, and the others, will face many obstacles and will have grown rapidly while residing at this camp. However, on this particular day, Rose’s seventh birthday and the day the story details, everything goes smoothly.
A Rose in the Desert is beautiful throughout, thanks to artist Ryan Durney. Those collecting fine illustrations from children’s books may want to give A Rose in the Desert a long look. A bedtime story this is not. I so wanted to love this story of a young refuge, but she could have been waking up almost anywhere and have a similar stress-free, conflict-free, and plot-free day/story.