Jul 282011

Deep in the DesertDeep in the Desert by Rhonda Lucas Donald is both an entertaining and educational children’s book about life in the desert. From the Gila monster to the tarkawara, the bat and the javelina, Deep in the Desert has all it needs to teach and keep children as well as adults listening attentively.

Desert habitats are explored, and the importance of the cactus has been emphasized in this unique children’s book about the desert. Deep in the Desert can be sung or read aloud, as the rhyming poems can be sung to traditional children’s songs such as Yankee Doodle, Down in the Valley and Pop, Goes the Weasel.
I started reading Deep in the Desert together with my eight-year-old son, and at first my two youngest sons had no interest in reading time. Then something caught my five-year-old’s attention, and he made his way to the couch. When the three of us tried singing about the Thorny Devil to the melody of Yankee Doodle, my 20-month-old son became interested as well, and soon I had three boys dancing around while singing a desert poem about the Thorny Devil. 
Sherry Neidigh has accomplished to make desert life come alive through the pages of Deep in the Desert. Colorful and very detailed illustrations kept my sons asking questions and wanting to see more. Meerkats playing in the desert, the carefully illustrated desert tortoise and especially the out-this-world Gila monster kept my kids studying the illustrations, and we had to take many breaks as we were reading Deep in the Desert. 
Deep in the Desert is a very entertaining book that taught all of us quite a bit about the desert including myself. My oldest son was so excited about the rhymes that he wanted to read everything by himself, and that surely was a treat for me. 
Deep in the Desert comes with a For Creative Minds section, which provides more facts about the desert habitat, fun desert facts, a world map of deserts and animals that lives in the different deserts as well as desert knowledge test that is fun for older kids to do. 
At the publisher Sylvan Dell website, you can find additional resources that accompany the children’s book Deep in the Desert such as sheet music for the songs, teaching activities, interactive quizzes and more. There is also a Spanish version of the For Creative Minds section.

Illustrator: Sherry Neidigh
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (March 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1607181258
ISBN-13: 978-1607181255
Publisher website: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Deep in the Desert by Rhonda Lucas Donald for the purpose of writing a book review. Versions of this children’s book review may have been posted on other websites or in printed publications.

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