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Posted April 20, 2011
We normally think of a desert as a hot, dry place where humans cannot survive for long, so are there any plants and animals that live in the desert? You bet there are! Author Rhonda Lucas Donald uses several traditional children's songs and poems to tell about different flora and fauna that flourish in the deserts around the world. There are the lesser long nosed bat, the meerkat (Timon of The Lion King), the desert tortoise, the fennec fox with its big ears, the thorny devil (similar to a horned lizard), the gila monster, the ostrich, the Bactrian camel (can you guess one or two humps?), the javelina or collared peccary, the tarkawara (similar to a kangaroo rat), and, of course, the saguaro cactus.
Deep in the Desert is an extremely catchy way to introduce young students to life in the desert. It is amazing to learn how various plants and animals adapt to such harsh conditions and then to see them so brilliantly illustrated by Sherry Neidigh. In the back are six pages of activities such as further information about the desert habitat, desert fun facts, a map to locate the deserts of the world and find the answers to some questions, and matching the desert adaptations. Additional learning activities may be obtained at the publisher's website, including sheet music for the songs. I have to agree with an observation from the inside front flap that this book makes learning about deserts anything but dry.
Posted April 15, 2011
How do you get children excited to learn about the desert when it can be such a dry topic (pun intended)? How about tailoring the text to fit perfectly with popular children's songs and livening it up with gorgeous, detailed drawings? That's exactly what you'll find in this new book from Sylvan Dell Publishing. Deep in the Desert includes discussion of a wide array of desert animals, many of whom are not normally mentioned in early reader books. Consider the javelina, tarkawara, and thorny devil as well as the more recognized ostrich and tortoise. Even the lowly, but very important, cactus gets a song as does the desert itself. Each of these creatures/"things" is given a lovely, two-page spread with facts intertwined into funny songs set to such famous tunes as "Down in the Valley," and "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider." Consider the ostrich song: (sung to "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly") There is an odd birdy that never could fly./ I wonder why the bird cannot fly./ Do you know why?/ At the end of the song, along with many facts about this big bird, the reader is given the reason why "the bird cannot fly." There is so much detail in every drawing that children will linger on each page to seek out all the animals and flora hidden within the artwork. Parents will appreciate the accuracy of the pictures and superb educational value this book offers. In the back of the book are six pages of information/study guides that include fun facts, a matching game and a world map showing the deserts of the world. There are additional resources provided on the publisher's website. Quill says: The perfect book for the school or homeschool setting to begin a discussion of desert habitats and animals.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.