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Way Out in the Desert Hardcover – May 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc; 1 edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873586875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873586870
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2AA delightful take-off on "Over in the Meadow." Marsh and Ward replace the familiar pond animals with the horned toads, hummingbirds, javelinas, jackrabbits, and roadrunners of the Sonoran Desert. Spengler's joyous, humor-filled drawings at times border on cartoons. Even rattlers and Gila monsters look appealing. To further interest children, the number of creatures mentioned in each double-page spread is hidden somewhere in the illustration. A glossary of plants and animals complete with pictures and pronunciations are appended. Way Out in the Desert is sure to make young readers and listeners want to know more about that desolate, but beautiful place. Absolutely delightful.AMollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Marsh and Ward's quick tour of the Sonoran Desert introduces readers to both local fauna (such as the horned toad, javelinas, tarantulas, Gila monsters, roadrunners, and scorpions) and flora (palo verde, ocotillo, saguaro, and prickly pear). Their observations are set to the rhythms of ``Over in the Meadow,'' for this is also a counting book: ``Way out in the desert where the wildflowers grew/lived a mother hummingbird and her little hummers two.'' Spengler has hidden each of the numbers in his full-page illustrations, which transport readers right into the thick of the environment and provide a better sense than the text of the animals and plants of this habitat. A glossary at the end of the book provides a more detailed account of the creatures. (Picture book. 3-7) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Illustrations are very interesting.
always summer
Great book, my son will enjoy and love that it is about the desert which is so far for us so gives him an experience without experiencing it .
Kat Silva
I highly recommend it for toddlers to second graders.
Patty Horn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
SUMMARY:
Clever usage of rhyme and song in a counting book which describes the animals and vegetation of the desert. Pictures are beautifully illustrated, animated but yet realistic. The book even includes a glossary and the sheet music.
CRITICAL REVIEW:
WAY OUT IN THE DESERT uses excellent rhyme and meter while the young reader searches for the hidden number within each picture. All the animals and vegetation are that of the Sonoran Desert. Each page briefly describes a characteristic of the creature and their habitat within the desert. The vocabulary is contextual in naming of the animals and plants of this desert. The remaining vocabulary is simple and repetitive. The counting scheme is the increasing number of each animal's babies. The pictures are wonderful. Each are vibrantly colored but the colors are representative of the real animal or plant. Each page has depth and texture and varies in perspective. It is a joy to look at and fun to read. Older readers would enjoy reading this book in discovery of the desert. It is best to read this to new or struggling readers-but do read it!
CURRICULUM APPLICATIONS:
This is an excellent book for all elementary ages. The basic skill is counting. From here it can expand in many directions, such as music, poetry, art, writing, creating special glossaries, studying the southwest states, desert life, desert plants and animals, habitats, food chains, botany, zoology, comparing and contrasting, etc. It can be used to create working groups within the classroom, each group being a different desert animal. The possibilities are endless. Meeting both authors is recommended. Both currently live in Tucson, AZ, and love the desert. I'm sure they have many stories to tell of their life there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patty Horn on November 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This fun book tells "lyric-like" tales of some of the main creatures found in the southwestern desert. You can almost hear music when you read it! It's very clever! I highly recommend it for toddlers to second graders. The illustrations are great too. A really cute book!
Desert Songwriter/Patty Horn
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen K. Hart VINE VOICE on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I haven't learned the music for Way Out in the Desert yet, so I can't speak for the tune. However, the rhythm of this counting rhyme is a lot of fun. It gets a little old by the time you get to the tenth verse, but the beat is enjoyable. If you don't like poems that sort of get you into a singsong mode, though, you might want to skip this one.
The illustrations are beautiful, and terms are explained at the end of the book. If you know how to pronounce both Spanish and English words, this text is a delight to read aloud. A great introduction to desert life!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Hettinger on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Right away you will notice the high quality printing, the carefully cadenced lyrical text, and the vibrant illustrations. And subsequent readings, you'll notice the numbers embedded in each image and the time progression from day-to-night. Each illustration is rich with detail, a story, and a little humor (we love the faces of the lizards being chased by road runners and were amused by the octa-sweater knitted by the spiders).

The book also teaches quite a bit about the desert and desert life (I had to look up images for "octotillo" and "palo verde"). There is one oddity however -- the smiling, friendly desert creatures include rattlesnakes, tarantulas, scorpions, and gila monsters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MusicTeacher on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another "Over in the Meadow"-based gem for elementary music teachers. I have 4 of these books, total, and my students beg to hear them every class. Great illustrations, good rhymes, and good use of location-specific vocabulary that you can discuss with your students. To non-educators: make sure you know the song "Over in the Meadow", then buy these books and sing them to your kids!
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Format: Board book
I love reading this book to my son. He's now about a year and a half, though we've had this book for a year. I picked this book up for him on a trip to Arizona, because I like to collect books about the places we've been. This one was appropriate because it is about desert/southwest animals. It is a short counting book and it has a fun, rhythmic pattern to the words. The words are also simple with a repetitive pattern, so it makes great early "reading" for young kids (easily memorizable).The illustrations are beautiful, and I think it was a nice touch that there is a "hidden" number on each page.
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Format: Hardcover
Way out in the Desert, by Marsh and Ward, illustrated by Spengler, is a counting book featuring hidden numbers within spectacularly colored drawings of desert animals and their habitat. The verse is in rhyme and can be sung to "Over in the Meadow," and the musical accompaniment is provided in the back of the story. I kind of chant this one to the kids and at the end of each page they look for the numbers hidden in the picture. Featuring plant and animal species which are native to the southwestern desert habitat, this book shows kids new animals they may not have seen before.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
My children, ages 1,3, 5, 7, absolutely LOVE this book (We have the board-book version). The rhyming is catchy and well-written. We live in Arizona, so they love reading about creatures we see everywhere. And they really get a kick out of finding the 'hidden' numbers. My 3 & 5-yr-old are always requesting it for bedtime storytime. They yell out the numbers as I read it, then we all count the creatures together. It's a great book for the whole family!
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