Deep in the Desert
Catchy desert twists on traditional children’s songs and poems will have children chiming in about cactuses, camels, and more as they learn about the desert habitat and its flora and fauna. Tarkawara hops on the desert sand instead of a kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree. And teapots aren’t the only things that are short and stout—just look at the javelina’s hooves and snout. Travel the world’s deserts to dig with meerkats, fly with bats, and hiss with Gila monsters! Whether sung or read aloud, Deep in the Desert makes learning about deserts anything but dry.

Written by Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrated by Sherry Neidigh

32 pg, 10 x 8.5, Ages 3-8, Grades PK-3
Lexile: AD 500, AR: 3.1, RC: 1.7, F&P: O
Hardcover 9781607181255 $16.95  
Paperback 9781607181354 $8.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628554083 $9.95  
EBook 9781607183044 $6.95  
Spanish EBook 9781628551334 $6.95  
Keywords:   rhythm, rhyme, climate, adapted children's songs, desert habitat, life science, map, coordinate grid, adaptations, food chain
Animals in the book:   lesser long-nosed bat, meerkat, desert tortoise, fennec fox, bactrian camel, Gila monster, javelina, collared peccary, ostrich, takawara, thorny devil
Vetters:   Thanks to Lisa Evans, Education Specialist, and Kelly Holler, Visitor Use Assistant, Amistad National Recreation Area and to David Elkowitz, Chief of Interpretation, Big Bend National Park, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River for verifying the desert information in this book.


"Set to nursery rhyme songs like Do Your Ears Hang Low and Baa Baa Black Sheep, the words are transformed to songs about desert creatures. It’s a delightful way to combine non-fiction with singing. My husband and I sang these repeatedly at our little boy’s insistence. It turns out that I’m the only one that knows the tune to Do Your Ears Hang Low … guess all those mommy and me music classes really sank in! In this case, though, I’m singing about the Fennec Fox! This is a diabolically clever concept! I love it!"
-Pragmatic Mom

"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."
-Home School Book Review

"The book includes many animals, and more fun is to be had reading their stories. Sherry Neidigh's wonderful illustrations show each desert animal as an individual within its own clan."
-Book Loons

Author/Illustrator Info:

Award-winning author Rhonda Lucas Donald has written more than a dozen books for children and teachers, including the prequel to Dino Treasures, Dino Tracks. Her recent book Deep in the Desert, won the silver medal in the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, National Science Teachers Association, and the Cat Writers Association. Rhonda and her husband share their Virginia home with their dogs, Maggie and Lily, and their very dignified cats, Darwin and Huxley. Visit her website at

Sherry Neidigh, a graduate of Ringling School of Art and Design, has been freelance illustrating for over twenty years. Sherry's love of animals and nature comes through in her bright, colorful art. In addition to illustrating Count Down to Fall and The Best Nest for Arbordale, Sherry has illustrated several trade and education titles including Who Needs That Nose?, If I Had a Tail, and Black and White. Sherry lives in South Carolina. Visit Sherry's website.


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