Chances are children think of dry, dune-filled landscapes at the word "desert." The not-always-sand-covered areas are habitats of spectacular extremes, however, whose varied life forms make them anything but bleak, barren biomes. Gail Gibbons' provides an introductory overview of deserts in general while her text and watercolors focus primarily on the topography and wildlife of American deserts.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Gibbons briefly describes the formation and characteristics of deserts around the world. Average-quality full- color illustrations depict the flora and fauna that thrive in this harsh environment, but no distinction is made between the plants and animals found in the American West and those of the other desert areas. This may cause a great deal of confusion. The author makes mention of some of the natural resources that have been found "under desert floors," but again doesn't cite specific locations. The lifestyle of desert people is touched upon, but there is no indication as to which continents these nomads might roam. Unfortunately, the focus and scope of this book are just too broad for it to be an effective introduction.-George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield