Desert Trip

Overview

Rocks that look like castles against the desert sky; quiet broken only by the trill of a canyon wren; the cool, clear night alight with millions of stars?all the wonders of the desert canyonlands come vividly alive as a mother and her daughter set out on their first backpacking trip together.

As they hike, the girl discovers the rich variety of life that thrives in the dry desert heat?from the spicy-scented cliff rose to the purple-flowered spiny hedgehog cactus, from the ...

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Overview

Rocks that look like castles against the desert sky; quiet broken only by the trill of a canyon wren; the cool, clear night alight with millions of stars—all the wonders of the desert canyonlands come vividly alive as a mother and her daughter set out on their first backpacking trip together.

As they hike, the girl discovers the rich variety of life that thrives in the dry desert heat—from the spicy-scented cliff rose to the purple-flowered spiny hedgehog cactus, from the spadefoot toad to the cottontail rabbit. Along the way, young readers learn how the native desert people once used yellow biscuit root for medicine and wads of soft bark from the Utah juniper for diapers. At the same time, they gather hints on what to pack for a wilderness camping trip and how to enjoy both land and wildlife while treating them with respect.

Evocative watercolor paintings and a lyrical, first-person narrative capture the magic of the desert in this unforgettable adventure in discovery.

Relates the experiences of a young girl and her mother as they backpack in the desert where the child learns about the plants, animals, birds, and rock formations.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Barbara A. Steiner's pleasing blend of fact and fiction in which an elementary grader, on an overnight desert trip with her mom, learns about Utah's canyon-lands and how Native Americans used its plants.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4In this gentle picture book, a young girl tells about an overnight hiking trip she and her mother take in the desert canyonland of the Southwest. As they walk, the child describes the rock formations and plants they see, the desert climate, the pleasant places they stop, and the various meals they enjoy. With not a single other human on the trail, mother and daughter are able to experience nature at its best. Himler's watercolor paintings in warm shades of brown, yellow, and gray-green capture the near idyllic flavor of this outing. Use this book in conjunction with Byrd Baylor's I'm in Charge of Celebrations (Scribners, 1986) or Joanne Ryder's Under Your Feet (Four Winds, 1990) to introduce children to outings during which careful attention is paid to the wonders of the natural world.Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Hazel Rochman
A small girl tells how she and her mother go backpacking through the desert canyon lands, camp out under the stars, and return home the next day. Words and pictures show that the two are alone together in an exciting world, where they can see, hear, smell, and touch new things in the space and the quiet. Her mother points out particular flowers, grasses, and rocks; she knows how the native desert people, the Utes, used the wilderness. Himler's watercolors show the wide open spaces, the astonishing rock formations, the wonderful particularity of one flower seen close up. Kids will learn about the desert and envy the adventure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871565815
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books for Children
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Series: Books for Children Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,191,731
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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Read an Excerpt

My mother and I are going backpacking in the desert canyonlands. As we drive the road to the beginning of the trail, I can see this is a magical place. All around us are huge rocks that look like castles against the desert sky.

At the parking lot where we'll leave our car behind, I struggle with my backpack. "I'm not sure I can carry this," I say, tugging on the shoulder straps.

Mother laughs and helps me. "Water is heavy. But we have to carry plenty, because we won't find much in the desert. When it does rain, the water soaks right into the sandy soil."

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