A new children's book by artist and author Janet Morgan -- "Welcome to Death Valley!" -- takes young readers on a colorful journey through Death Valley National Park, exploring its dunes, rocky mountains, critters and wildflowers. The desert can be a wondrous place, and Janet Morgan's book helps inspire that wonder by taking on what many perceive as a wasteland and revealing its fascinating life story. Using ravens as guides, the author takes a trip around the desert park, explaining geological formations, the tell tale clues of critter tracks in the sand, the colorful rocks of Desolation Canyon and Artists Palette, and the oasis of Darwin Falls.
I grew up in the desert, and spent my summer breaks and weekends roaming the western Mojave Desert around Victorville looking for lizards (catch and release, of course) and interesting rocks. I may be biased, but I think the desert is a great place to inspire a kid's respect for nature, to encourage them to appreciate the little things -- animals and plants specialized for arid climates and the exposed geology of a landscape, all on an open range to explore and learn. Reading "Welcome to Death Valley!" would be a great way for kids to learn and think about the desert in an inquisitive way...perhaps before a camping trip to Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Mojave National Preserve, or any other slice of desert you can find in your backyard or beyond!
The book is available from Art and Adventures at this site.