Desert Food Webs


Snakes, lizards, rabbits, mice, mountain lions, and hawks are some of the many animals that make up a desert food web. But do you know how desert animals depend on cactuses, grasses, and other plants to stay alive? Or why tiny insects, fungi, and bacteria may be among the most important living things in a desert? See desert food webs in action in this fascinating book.

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Snakes, lizards, rabbits, mice, mountain lions, and hawks are some of the many animals that make up a desert food web. But do you know how desert animals depend on cactuses, grasses, and other plants to stay alive? Or why tiny insects, fungi, and bacteria may be among the most important living things in a desert? See desert food webs in action in this fascinating book.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
One of six in the “What is a Food Web” series, this edition, designed for elementary students, is all about life in the desert and how the food web sustains life in this harsh climate. The six chapters begin with a food web graphic followed by a discussion on desert life, the location of major desert environments in the world as well as a discussion about food webs and how they work. Additional chapters, accompanied by color photos, discuss desert plants, plant eaters, meat eaters, decomposers, and people and deserts. The well-researched text includes boxed facts on the desert as well as a glossary, index, sources for further study for students, and resources online for teachers. It would have been a plus to have the new terms in the glossary underlined or boldface as they appeared in the text as the whole food web concept will be new to most students. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.; Ages 8 to 10.
Children's Literature - Gwynne Spencer
This addition to the "Early Bird Food Webs" series includes the following sections: Be a Word Detective, Deserts, Desert Plants, Desert Plant Eaters, Desert Meat Eaters, Desert Decomposers, People and Deserts, A Note to Adults on Sharing a Book, Learn More about Deserts and Food Webs (websites, books), Glossary, and Index. The concept of food chains in the desert is emphasized but never illustrated, so a child who is either not familiar with the concept or is a literal reader will be envisioning "chains" in the desert, chains moving across the desert, and chains from the sun to the desert. A simple illustration of a food chain would have clarified this concept easily. In the front is an illustration of a "food web" and, later, is the author states that a food web is made up of many food chains. You can imagine what the literal child may be imagining. On the other hand, full-color photographs on every page make this an attractive browsing title for readers. While most of the illustrations seem to focus on the Sonoran desert, mention is mention made of meerkats, which are African, and camel skeletons are shown. A map of world deserts on page 8 doesn't tie in to any of the other illustrations, but it could have with a simple key system. While lack of water is mentioned as one of the defining elements of desert, there no mention of aquifers, water storage, evaporation or other factors affecting the desert, nor is there a definition of how much or how little water defines a desert, instead relying on the reader to intuit this information. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467712941
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2013
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.09 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Fleisher has spent his working life as an educator and writer. His books for young people cover a variety of science, ecology and natural history subjects. He has also written several widely-used classroom activity books on thinking games, social activism, and creative writing. 

Paul currently works as an adjunct professor in the school of education at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as assistant to the director of the Richmond Peace Education Center. He also teaches classes in writing at the University of Richmond. Prior to taking early retirement in 2005, he taught gifted elementary and middle school students in the Richmond, Virginia Public Schools for almost 30 years. During that time, he helped develop numerous interdisciplinary instructional units on topics including Humor, Justice, Engineering and Design and The Art and Science of Music.  Paul was in the vanguard of teaching educational technology in Richmond Public Schools, teaching computer programming and web design to his students. He has offered workshops on team-building, thinking games, teaching writing, and other topics at educational conferences for many years. 

Paul remains an activist for peace and social justice. He currently serves on the boards of the Virginia Forum and the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He has also served terms on the Virginia Education Association's Fitz Turner Commission for Human and Civil Rights, and the Virginia Chapter of the ACLU. In 1988 Paul received the Virginia Education Association Award for Peace and International Relations and in 1999 he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education. 

It is Paul's great good fortune to be married to educator Debra Sims Fleisher, who has taught him much of what he knows about working in a classroom, as well as how to live as a more decent human being.  In his spare time Paul is an avid gardener, cook, and reader. 

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Table of Contents

Be A Word Detective     5
Deserts     6
Desert Plants     13
Desert Plant Eaters     22
Desert Meat Eaters     27
Desert Decomposers     33
People and Deserts     38
A Note to Adults on Sharing a Book     44
Learn More about Deserts and Food Webs     45
Glossary     46
Index     48
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