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Children's LiteraturePart of the "Living on the Edge" series, this sturdy picture book will give young readers a greater understanding of the vast array of wildlife found in desert habitats worldwide, and how these ingenious creatures manage to survive under such hot, arid conditions. For example, did you know that a camel's long eyelashes, hairy ears and thick eyebrows protect it from harsh sunlight and blowing sand? And, that if a high wind kicks up, a camel can cover its eye with an clear eyelid that works like a car's windshield to protect its eyesight as it navigates through the sand storm? This volume is chock full of such kid-friendly and useful nature facts. The book's 10-inch by 10-inch trim size means that its many full-color photos are reproduced in a larger-than-standard size, letting kids get a close-up view of each animal's desert-friendly adaptations, as well as the stark beauty of this challenging habitat. The text is set in a large, easy-to-read typestyle that makes this title a good choice for beginning readers. The book is organized for easy location of information and comprehension, too—starting with an overview of what constitutes a desert, where deserts are found throughout the globe, what animals exist in various deserts, and ending with a glossary, index and a listing of resources for readers wanting to "Find Out More." My guess is that this intriguing, well-researched book will pique the interest of many kids who will want to further explore the animals and plants of the world's great deserts. 2003, Benchmark Books, Ages 8 to 11.
— Dianne Ochiltree