Written by Darcy Pattison
Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz
Bath time without soap and water? what an excellent way of introducing young readers to life in the desert where water is scarce and the heat unrelenting. In a simply told story Darcy Pattison takes her readers to the desert. The lyrical text showcases the beauty of the land, and the scruples of the animals who live there.
We are so conditioned to the idea of bathing as a water activity, that the thought of a bath without water seems strange. But there are cultures where bathing with oil is commonplace, and the word water-bath is an accepted part of the vocabulary.
The book lists twelve different ways of bathing. While fourth grade readers would be intrigued by the concept of a dust bath, or an ant bath, the adults in their life can make a convincing argument for cleanliness by pointing out that even animals find ways to keep clean.
And what fascinating ways: bathing in the dewdrops (Anna’s hummingbirds), ant bathing (scaled quail), licking the eyeballs to keep them clear (western banded gecko) or just shedding old skin for a new clean covering (diamondback rattler)!
The book is richly illustrated with pictures that faithfully reflect the passing time: from the vulture silhouetted against the rosy dawn, through the bright skies of the daytime heat to the purpling of the night. Each double page spread creates a complete, and completely accurate desert, habitat. There is a haunting verity to the pictures that carries the readers right into the little-known desert world.
Back matter additions make this book a valuable addition to any reading list. Young readers will enjoy the fun facts and quizzes, and trying their hand at making their own sundial.
Online activities: www.SylvanDellPublishing.com
Deserts of the world: http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/ofworld.htm
- Title: Desert Baths
- Author: Darcy Pattison
- Illustrator: Kathleen Rietz
- Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
- Reviewer: Anjali Amit
- Paperback: 24 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-60718-5345
- Genre: Picture Book/ Non-Fiction
- Lexile Score: 870