HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Deep in the Desert
Author: Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrator: Sherry Neidgh
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-60718-125-5 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60718-135-4 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60718-145-3 (ebook)
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 3-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Donald, Rhonda Lucas. Deep in the Desert (published in 2011 by Sylvan Dell Publishing, 612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A-2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464). We normally think of a desert as a hot, dry place where humans cannot survive for long, so are there any plants and animals that live in the desert? You bet there are! Author Rhonda Lucas Donald uses several traditional children’s songs and poems to tell about different flora and fauna that flourish in the deserts around the world. There are the lesser long nosed bat, the meerkat (Timon of The Lion King), the desert tortoise, the fennec fox with its big ears, the thorny devil (similar to a horned lizard), the gila monster, the ostrich, the Bactrian camel (can you guess one or two humps?), the javelina or collared peccary, the tarkawara (similar to a kangaroo rat), and, of course, the saguaro cactus.
Deep in the Desert is an extremely catchy way to introduce young students to life in the desert. It is amazing to learn how various plants and animals adapt to such harsh conditions and then to see them so brilliantly illustrated by Sherry Neidigh. In the back are six pages of activities such as further information about the desert habitat, desert fun facts, a map to locate the deserts of the world and find the answers to some questions, and matching the desert adaptations. Additional learning activities may be obtained at the publisher’s website, including sheet music for the songs. I have to agree with an observation from the inside front flap that this book makes learning about deserts anything but dry.