Deep in the Desert
Sing along to this light-hearted romp while learning about different food chains within a single ecosystem. Which animals come out on top, and which animals end up as snacks? Hey Diddle Diddle teaches children about the food web, the circle of life, and the part that each living creature plays within an ecosystem. This book is so much fun, kids will have a hard time believing they’re actually learning. You’ll be singing Hey Diddle Diddle long after you close the book.

This nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor and rhyming text includes a 5-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 58-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Deep in the Desert is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. Tap animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.

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, 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.


This title presents a variety of desert habitats around the globe and their flora and colorful illustrations accompanied by rhyming texts to match existing songs. - School Library Journal

The facts presented are brief, but older readers will want to learn more, and younger readers will pore over the illustrations again and again. This book will make learning about deserts "anything but dry." - Library Media Connection

This would be a great resource in the elementary school classroom to provide different and interactive instructional material. An impressive variety of useful activities, lesson plans, and quizzes is also available online. - Science Books & Films

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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