K-Gr 3Full-color photos, bold headings, and clearly presented large-type text combine to create exciting introductions to creatures of desert and seashore (14 of each). A full-page photo of each baby animal faces a page containing two-to-four conversational paragraphs with just the right amount of interesting information for this age group; a small photo of an adult animal; and a box that includes facts such as size, food, and natural enemies. Endangered animals are noted. An introductory page in each volume shows the symbols for three types of zones found in the respective region. These symbols, included in each animal's description to indicate the area(s) in which they live, are described on the last page of each book. Both volumes include animals from various parts of the world; Desert Babies describes several lessor-known species. A note on the flyleaf of each book tells how to "adopt" one of the featured animals. One quibble: Information on the sea star seems to indicate that all sea stars can regenerate from a single arm, but only certain species can accomplish this remarkable feat. Nonetheless, these two books, kin to Arctic Babies and Rain Forest Babies (both Walker, 1996), would be great additions to any collection.Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Budding naturalists will enjoy these brief, colorful portraits of 14 desert animals, familiar and strange, including the camel, caracal, gemsbok, mouse, uromastyx, quokka, coyote, emu, lemur, rattlesnake, tarantula, nilgai, tortoise, and vulture. Each animal is presented on a spread with full-color photos, a brief, chatty text, and a table of facts (birthplace, birth and adult sizes, littermates, favorite foods, parental care, enemies, etc.). An introductory page shows the location of deserts around the world; a final page discusses why such places must be protected. The photos are appealing, although whether the animal pictured is an adult or baby is not always clear; the animals were photographed in preservesnot in their desert habitatso the backgrounds may mislead, in spite of the use of symbols to cue readers in. The text includes odd facts that are intriguing, but sometimes excessively cute (the emu father calls, "Come to daddy," when the weather is hot; "vultures eat the most disgusting, yucky things you can imagine"). A companion volume, Seashore Babies (0-8027-8476-3; PLB -8477-1), describes 14 sea animals.