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Children's LiteratureAs they have done in their many other fine introductions to animals and natural environments, Moss and Kennaway take us by both text and illustration to a location, in this case an oasis, "the green heart of the desert." With simple, evocative prose they describe both creatures of the surrounding sands and those in the lush area around the water. The activities of the local herdsmen and Tuareg traders are detailed. In daylight and moonlight the non-human inhabitants also go about their business. Out in the desert, dust devils and sandstorms may occur, while the oasis is refreshed by morning mist and rare rain. The information is delivered esthetically in both words and pictures. The brief lines of text act as captions identifying the subjects of the illustrations and attractively-designed scenes offer detailed naturalistic examples of both creatures and vegetation. The overall tone of the colors of desert sand produce a sense of timeless calm. Two pages of additional information complete the book. 2005, Kane/Miller Book Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz