Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia’s Desert Wilderness by Narelle Oliver –NOT RECOMMENDED

Oliver, Narelle Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia’s Desert Wilderness 40 pgs, Candlewick, 2015. $16.99 PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION
In this book the reader goes on a journey with early European explorer Charles Sturt as he and his team explore the harsh wilderness of middle Australia, dubbed Dead Heart. We discover how he survives and the plants and animals he comes across, while at the same time, learning what the Aborigines already knew.
This book is filled with AMAZING illustrations, my favorite part. However, I think that the subdued and artistic take on this habitat would fail to catch the interest of students, who would be more entranced by actual photography. (Which I found myself wanting to see as well). The vocabulary was quite advanced, with tons of new titles of plants and animals introduced along with more complex descriptions. I would probably not add this book to my library because it is so focused on a small piece of a one country, which would reduce its usefulness for more requested units. Also I thought it was confusing that we couldn't just learn about the habitat as it is today, why a historic journey?
EL –ADVISABLE  Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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