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By: Darcy Pattison
Illustrated by: Kathleen Rietz
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2012
The sun is just coming up and spreading its light over the desert landscape. As the sun rises, a turkey vulture spreads his wings and enjoys a sunbath. It’s his way of warming up in the early morning. All across the desert, different animals use different methods to survive and clean themselves in the harsh, dry landscape. In Desert Baths, we meet twelve desert dwellers and see how they stay clean within this dusty land.
In the early morning an Anna’s hummingbird preens and uses the dew to clean her feathers while a mule deer doe grooms her two fawns. A big desert tortoise slowly moves out of his burrow to see if there might be a late morning shower. With no clouds in the sky, it looks like the tortoise will have to wait for another day. As the day goes on, we meet other animals such as a diamondback rattler who sheds his skin to keep clean and grow.
Soon the sun crosses the sky and dips down below the horizon. It’s night now and there are other animals who use the safety of the dark to come out and clean themselves. Before the javelina starts to forage, he finds a nice muddy spot and rolls in the cool, thick mud. Now he feels clean and ready to search for food.
Desert Baths is an excellent introduction to the world of desert animals and what they must do to stay clean and healthy. There are twelve different animals featured in this book that children will enjoy meeting. Chances are, young readers have never considered what animals must do to stay clean in a land where water is a rare commodity. The story, along with the educational material in the back of the text for added discussions, will bring the struggles of desert animals to life for the emerging reader.
Quill says: An excellent book to educate young readers on the daily habits of desert dwellers.