Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

About Habitats: Deserts

Part of About Habitats

by Cathryn Sill
illustrated by John Sill

Dive into this classroom favorite for a simple first look at a habitat that’s surprisingly diverse! From the creators of the award-winning About Habitats and About… series.

“A great choice…an informative introduction.” ―School Library Journal

Cathryn and John Sills’ beginner’s guide to deserts explores the major attributes of the habitat and showcases its striking beauty and remarkable global diversity. For example, did you know that the Great Basin Desert is actually very cold?

A former educator and author, Cathryn Sill uses simple, easy-to-understand language to teach children what deserts are, what kinds of animals and plants live there, and how certain species have adapted to the unique challenges of surviving in this harsh environment. Noted wildlife illustrator John Sill uses detailed, full-color illustrations to reflect the diversity of desert topography―from the vast dunes of the Arabian Desert to the rocky Chihuahuan Desert in the southwestern U.S. A glossary and afterword provide further details. Ideal for early childhood or elementary units on geography and habitats, nature and environment.

The About Habitats series introduces children to specific habitats and their living and nonliving components. Each book in the series provides information about the nature and characteristics of the habitat while the full-page illustrations expand on that information.

Also available by Cathryn and John Sill:
About Habitats: Forests
About Habitats: Grasslands
About Habitats: Mountains
About Habitats: Oceans
About Habitats: Polar Regions
About Habitats: Rivers and Streams
About Habitats: Seashores
About Habitats: Wetlands


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Science K-6) ―Society of School Librarians International

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN:  978-1-56145-641-3
Publication Date: 2/1/2012
Page Count: 48
Size: 10″ x 8-1/2″
Age Range: 3 – 8
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-636-9
Publication Date: 2/1/2012
Page Count: 48
Size: 10″ x 8-1/2″
Age Range: 3 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 2.8
F&P: GRL J, Gr 1, Genre I
Themes: Deserts Animals, Deserts Characteristics, Deserts Geography, Deserts Plant Life
BISAC 1: JNF051100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems
BISAC 2: JNF051180 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Geography
BISAC 3: JNF037030 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Flowers & Plants


“A great choice for beginning readers and for sharing aloud, this elegant blend of clearly presented facts and starkly beautiful paintings makes an informative introduction to a harsh environment and the adaptations made by the plants and animals that live there.” ―School Library Journal

“This handsome book introduces deserts…some of the paintings focus on particular plants or animals, while others show broad landscapes, but all are well composed, delicately colored, and sensitively lit…accessible to very young children as well as older students, this provides an appealing introduction to deserts.” ―Booklist

“Cathryn and John Sill are all but unequalled in their particular style…luscious watercolors are beautiful, sometimes bordering on the spectacular.” ―Bristol Herald Courier

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“Great for reading aloud, this simple but informative book introduces littler kids to arid landscapes for the first time.” ―Letter Blocks, Barnes and Noble Newsletter

“Simply structured text is supported by realistic paintings on full page plates. One of the best features of this book is that it includes features of a desert that students would typically consider (heat, plant life, sand) as well as those they might not.” ―Perfect Pairings

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Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2008

Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Science K-6) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2007

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Meet the Author

Cathryn Sill, a graduate of Western Carolina University, was an elementary school teacher for thirty years. She lives in North Carolina.

Meet the Illustrator

John Sill holds a BS in wildlife biology from North Carolina State University. Combining his knowledge of wildlife and artistic skill, John has achieved an impressive reputation as a wildlife artist and received several awards. He lives in North Carolina. You can visit his website here.