Sand Dune Daisy






Book Description: “Sand Dune Daisy,” written by travel author Lili DeBarbieri and illustrated by award-winning artist Fred Barraza, is a magical blend of art, high adventure, and natural history. Daisy is a playful, young pocket mouse who must navigate her way through a challenging environment meeting a colorful cast of desert characters and conditions along the way. DeBarbieri’s charming narrative takes readers on an action-packed journey through this dune locale with charismatic desert wildlife and ecology. The book is inspired by the real but little known wonderland that is the sand dunes of the American Southwest, igniting wonder for the natural world in children of all ages. (Bower House Books, 2015)

National Latino Books Examiner interview

Reviews & Praise:

“Teacher’s Pick”, Science Learning in the Early Years, National Science Teachers Association

2016’s top Southwestern children’s books

DeBarbieri’s deftly written and engaging narrative takes young readers on an action-packed journey through this dune locale with charismatic desert wildlife and ecology… An attractive, appealing, delightful, and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ read from beginning to end, “Sand Dune Daisy” will prove to be an especially popular addition to family, school, and community library collections for children–Children’s Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

“Sand Dune Daisy captures the spirit of our outreach by making it fun for a child to learn about a small pocket mouse’s habitat and ecology!”–North Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council  

Alabama Learning Exchange Resource Gap Curriculum



Set at spectacular White Sands National Monument, DeBarbieri’s text introduces children to native species like the pocket mouse, kit fox, red-tailed hawk, and lizards. The story carries Daisy on a dangerous mission to find food and, then, her home. (She’s saved by hopping onto a young visitor’s red sled.) It cleverly embeds information about the science of sand dunes and the ways of desert animals. Exploring it will enhance the whole family’s next White Sands trip.

 New children’s book whisks readers to Southwest sand dunes.

Love the story—soft and colorful, just right for a small child.–Danielle A. Dahl, author SIROCCO

 “It’s lovely”–Antigone Books

Fleeing from a kit fox, Daisy — a small brown pocket mouse — finds aid from an unexpected friend. An entertaining and educational journey through sand dunes in the American Southwest complete with a glossary and “fun facts” about the animals Daisy encounters and the shifting sands she calls home. A travel writer, DeBarbieri includes information about four sand dunes parks located in the region — sure to inspire weekend field trips.–Arizona Daily Star
“A good nonfiction story should be much, much more than a list of facts. Good nonfiction stories should be FUN! That’s been my mantra for more than 35 years as a science writer and author of books for young readers. Lili DeBarbieri has embraced the mantra and made it her own. Sand Dune Daisy (A Pocket Mouse Tale) is her first book for children. The book is FUN! It’s also packed with facts about a very interesting creature that dwells among some of the most spectacular land forms of the American West. Young readers will learn plenty as they read about Daisy and other creatures of the dunes, including predators like the kit fox. M. Fred Barraza’s colorful, exquisitely rendered illustrations bring the author’s words to life. This book is a “must have” for anyone who loves animals and cares about the health of our small blue planet. I am proud to add Sand Dune Daisy to my science library and will enjoying reading to and with my grandchildren.” –Conrad J. Storad, award-winning editor and author of over 50 science books including Gator, Gator, Second Grader

“Sweet is the word that comes to mind while reading this book, from the picturesque narrative used to tell Daisy’s tale to the illustrations that emphasize the beautiful colors of the Southwest. In Sand Dune Daisy: A Pocket Mouse Tale, we get the benefit of characters to connect with while subtly being taught about life in the desert.”–Santa Fe Children’s Museum

 The book would make a GREAT addition to a teacher’s reading resources anywhere in the world, for example as part of a desert environment unit, or in a rodent themed reading center or unit. As someone lucky enough to reside near The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, I’m very appreciative of a book that primes young minds about such unique, beautiful, and valuable natural resources; as a past seasonal interpretive park ranger...– Colorado Educator and Park Naturalist

“..little book with the big Southwestern connection..” —Silver City Sun and News

Featured in Silver City Daily Press

Book Gives Glimpse Into Desert Life– Bear Essential News

“Lili DeBarbieri’s truly all encompassing story touches so many aspects of life that we hardly recognize at first, that she is crafting it so. First and foremost, she leaves you with a deep respect for the unique landscape and each living being that has found a way to survive its challenges. The relationship of predator – prey is woven into this tale of Daisy the pocket mouse, realistically portraying the difficult life of the predator, too often not found in children’s books. She does not hesitate to bring our species into this drama of life and death, delightfully showing how our presence and actions affect those among whom we live…the beauty created by M. Fred Barraza, her illustrator, through his gentle, flowing and wondrous soft colors takes one right there…to the dunes.” –Geri Vistein, Coyote Center Manager, author of I Am Coyote

“…Lili DeBarbieri expands our sight to take in the natural world of desert wildlife and ecology…” writes one little reviewer for Story Monsters

This educational gem is a book that could easily fit in every classroom from Kindergarten through 5th grade..a must–have for all teachers and would be a useful teaching tool for parents who are home–schooling as well. Get this book to teach your students about food chains or just to find out if Daisy makes it home safely!– NSTA reviewer Janet Acerra5th grade teacher and College Adjunct Instructor 
I liked the inclusion of fun facts along the way to help young readers better understand the surroundings and context of the story… a great introduction to new animals and scenery that kids may not otherwise be exposed to… Kids like to learn about things that are different and Sand Dune Daisy fits the bill to engage them in something interesting and educational–Reader’s Favorite

Creative Madness Mama blog five starred review

“Wildlife science with a sprinkling of whimsy…heartfelt”– New Mexico Book Association

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