Title : Why oh Why Are Deserts Dry?
Author : Tish Rabe
Illustrator : Joseph Mathieu, Aristides Ruiz
Publisher : Random House
Year of Publishing : 2011
Age Suggestion : 6+
Type : Informational Books, Rhyming Books
Deserts. In Indonesia, we used to call deserts as “padang pasir” or “gurun,” which in English, literally means “sand field.” Surely we just refer “deserts” only to sandy Sahara Desert or those kinds of deserts like that. Now I realize how wrong I am about the real meaning of deserts.
It occurs to me that many children’s picture storybooks contain cute, funny rhyming words. I think Mrs. Tish Rabe had succeeded in combining knowledge with the writing arts. Dr. Seuss influences many authors and I bet Mrs. Tish is one of them, their writing style is kinda similar.
This can be one example :
“The Sonoran Desert
Is where we will find
A very big cactus
That’s one of the kind
It’s called the Saguaro
And I have been told
It can grow to be over
two hundred years old”
It comes along with a little note about how to spell the new word, like in the downside of the book there’s how to spell the Saguaro, “suh-WAR-oh.”
In this book, we can find basic things about the deserts. First of all, the cat in the hat shows us about misconception of the deserts. Not only cactus and Camel or Llama can live in the deserts. It turns out there are trees in the deserts! I just knew! It’s called Mesquite (spelled “meh-skeet”) that has roots as long as 40 feets down to the ground! Wow! Of course, the root has to be very long so it can reach the water deep inside the dry deserts!
And do you know that in Gobi, the deserts in China, covered with snow? Also, there’s this desert, called Mojave (spelled “mo-ha-vee”) that’s filled with many flowers and plants, even though they don’t live long? Or the South Pole of Antarctica is also in category of deserts! I know about all this just now, and I figure that “Padang Pasir” is definitely not the right term for all of these!
Do you recognize The Cat in the Hat in this book? Usually, this character was drawn by Dr. Seuss himself, but this time, I think the students (and a very good students) of Dr. Seuss who made this. Mr. Joseph and Mr. Aristides drew the character created by Dr. Seuss with their own improvisation. I would like to give credit for that, but I really want to know how they create their own character, too. Are you agreeing with me? (If you want to see Dr. Seuss’ real works, try to peek at it here first : Oh Say Can You Say by Dr. Seuss)
I definitely recommend the book. It’s very fun, but informational as well for kids and also the parents. At least, I’m gonna admit that I’m one of the rare parents who never knows about a few kinds of deserts Mrs. Tish mentioned in her book, until now.
Is there anything better in learning something with maximum fun? You tell me, then!