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A DESERT SCRAPBOOK by Virginia Wright-Frierson


by Virginia Wright-Frierson & illustrated by Virginia Wright-Frierson

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80678-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 Subtitled ``Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert,'' this is a fascinating personal introduction to the ecology of a desert. In her first solo effort, Wright-Frierson (illustrator of Sheila Cole's When the Tide Is Low, 1985, among others) organizes her book as a series of dawn-to-dusk, sketchbook impressions made during many trips to the desert for observation and watercolor painting. The vivid text takes the form of involving first-person journal entries that accompany accurate, beautiful watercolors of the desert (in one, she includes her own hands sketching in a notebook as part of the illustration). Roadrunners, tortoises, jackrabbits, snakes, elf owls, and woodpeckers are just a few of the animals observed and documented in their habitat, while Saguaro cactus, creosote, acacia, prickly pear, and mesquite fill each page. There is much to enjoy, but the first lessons to absorb are on becoming careful, consistent investigators of nature. Exemplary science writing. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)