BOOK REVIEW: Charley Harper’s What’s in the Desert? A Nature Discovery Book

I have previously shared here about a series of kid’s nature books that focused on woodlands, rain forests, and coral reefs. Pomegranate Books has recently published a fourth: Charley Harper’s What’s in the Desert? A Nature Discovery Book (order through Powell’s City of Books or


Like’s its predecessors, this book features the modernist paintings of birds and other wildlife by Charley Harper (1922-2007) with lyrical and rhyming text from Zoe Burke. The images use animals that are included in Harper’s painting The Desert, which was originally done for a National Park Service poster. Readers learn about the various animals that live in a desert (mostly birds in this one, but some mammals, reptiles, and insects are included, as well as a few plants like cactus and yucca): how they move, what they eat, where they have their homes, what sounds they make. A lot of information about animal behavior is to be found in such simple text.

Here are a few images from within the book:




Together with the three other books, Pomegranate’s “Nature Discovery Book” series is sure to delight fans of nature art and serve as a great introduction to the diversity of life on Earth for young readers. I hope the publisher’s continues with the series.

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