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DEATH VALLEY by Nancy Smiler Levinson


A Day in the Desert

by Nancy Smiler Levinson & illustrated by Diane Dawson Hearn

Pub Date: April 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1566-X
Publisher: Holiday House

Interesting, well-written nonfiction easy readers are almost as scarce as, say, a rainstorm in the desert. Levinson (She’s Been Working on the Railroad, 1997, etc.) effectively summarizes the amazing facts surrounding one of the most famous deserts, Death Valley, in her latest easy reader, which is written at a 2.9 grade level with just three to four sentences per two-page spread. The text describes one day in Death Valley, from sunrise on the front cover through animals feeding at a waterhole at night before a rare pre-dawn thunderstorm. A wide variety of flora and fauna are identified in the text and in captions unobtrusively worked into the full-bleed spreads with attractive illustrations that capture the glowing, golden heat of the dry desert and friendly-looking animals that will appeal to children. The final spread identifies common Death Valley animals and plants with small silhouette drawings, and an additional page of facts about Death Valley completes the book. This title will be useful for elementary school reports or class units on habitats, and it will also serve well as an intermediate easy reader for the primary grades or for older new readers or ESL students. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-9)