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Dig, Wait, Listen: A Desert Toad's Tale Hardcover – March 20, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 320L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (March 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688166148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688166144
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Under the sand, a spadefoot toad waits for the sound of rain. She remains in her burrow as creatures, including peccaries, a rattlesnake, and a kangaroo rat, pass above her but finally emerges to lay her eggs when the distinctive patter of rain begins. Clear, often lovely watercolors illustrate the creature's wait, the desert animals, and the brief time the toad and tadpoles spend on the desert floor after the rain. The nature lesson is propelled by frequent sound effects and the palpable need for rain. Notes at the end give additional information on the habits of this toad and her animal neighbors. Pair this title with Lynn Stone's Desert Animals at Night (Rourke, 1997) or Bash's Desert Giant (Little, Brown, 1990) for a look at desert life. Or, compare the spadefoot toad with her flashier amphibian relatives of the rain forest in Joy Cowley's The Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Scholastic, 1999). The only book for children specifically about the spadefoot toad, Sayre's title is a useful and pleasing addition.
Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ages 4-7. Several inches below the surface of the desert sand, a spadefoot toad waits and listens for rain. She hears the sounds of animals overhead: a scorpion, a kangaroo rat, a herd of peccaries, a woodpecker, and a rattlesnake. Finally, rains falls. She digs her way to the surface, where she mates. From the eggs she laid in a puddle of rainwater, tadpoles hatch and grow into toads. These tiny toads dig under the sand and wait, perhaps for months, for rain. Sayre, the author of If You Should Hear the Honey Guide (1995) and Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! (2000), once again writes about the natural world in a way that is clear, precise, and poetic. The text, which is akin to that of any good fiction picture book in its brevity, attention to sensory details, and read-aloud potential, also conveys the life cycle of a single species in a cogent and memorable way. The book ends with two appended pages that include a discussion of the spadefoot toad and a little information about each of the other animals that appeared in the book. Created with pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor, Bash's pictures illustrate the desert scenes with pleasingly varied colors, perspectives, and layouts. Preschool and primary-grade children will find this well-crafted book a wholly satisfying introduction to the spadefoot toad in particular and desert animals and the idea of life cycles in general. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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See all 5 customer reviews
Illustrations are extremely engaging.
S. Walker
I read it to my 7th grade science class during our amphibian section.
Dad Of Two
My daughter begs for me to read it to her over & over again.
Jessica E. Hope

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Cooper on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son used this book as a reference for a science project that involved raising spadefoot toad tadpoles. This is a picture book with a very simple story, but the excellent illustrations depict the toad's lifecycle and unique habitat. We have enjoyed watching the spadefoot toads for years. They appear in droves after big summer storms, lay their eggs, and disappear almost immediately.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica E. Hope on May 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book. Very well written, with delightful illustrations. My daughter begs for me to read it to her over & over again. It taught me new things about several animals, and it's fun to read aloud. We love it.
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Format: Hardcover
I have a 4- and 2-year-old and we've read this book about the spadefoot toad (which spends most of its life underground in the desert waiting for rain to lay its eggs) umpteen times during the past year. It is beautifully written, even more beautifully illustrated, and informative. My kids love it and so do I - I never get tired of reading this book, which is saying something given the number of times they've requested to read it, and I appreciate that the story and pictures satisfy both my boys but that the book has additional information printed in the back about the different desert animals, which further engages my 4-year-old.
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Format: Hardcover
A great picture book but not for little ones- it talks about how toads reproduce. I read it to my 7th grade science class during our amphibian section.
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By S. Walker on November 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely book. Well written and appropriate for K-3. Illustrations are extremely engaging.
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