This poetic book introduces readers to a side of the desert they may not know – the side teaming with life. It is a perfect book for a unit about the desert.
Title: Welcome to the Sea of Sand
Author/Illustrator: Jane Yolen (Author), Laura Regan (Illustrator)
Gorgeous illustrations support the rich, elegant text in this nonfiction book about the Sonoran Desert.
“Welcome to the Sea of Sand” is a model for creative nonfiction – the text and images are completely factual and artistically stunning. The book begins with a panorama of the “sea of sand” then focuses on specific wildlife that live there. The pictures help provide meaning to unfamiliar terms and the pronunciation guide will be much appreciated by non-experts. This book is one of four in the “Welcome to” series by Yolen and Regan.
Listen: Listen to the sound of spring in the Sonoran Desert (recording made available by Nature Sound Map).
Explore: Plan a (pretend) trip to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. Using the interactive map, click on the various exhibits to explore more about this surprising desert.
Watch: Watch this National Geographic video about Sonoran Babies (may be too mature for very young learners):
Play in sand: Have your child use their senses while playing in a container of sand (ask what they see, smell, feel). You can increase the experience by adding rocks and toy models of the creatures mentioned in the book.
Write: Have your kids practice creative writing by 1) Drawing a desert scene and then 2) Writing a descriptive poem about the scene. You can also go outside and have the kids do the same activity regarding their surroundings. What is the same or different about the desert and where you live?
Create: Explore with the many free handouts and ideas available at Sonoran Desert Digital Library. Some of my favorites include:
How I obtained the book: I bought this book