Desert Friends: Travels with the Pack
by Linda Harkey
Archway Publishing

"Animal friends in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona are found in all sizes, shapes, and colors."

Rodney the Roadrunner and Quincy the Quail are best friends who live in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. They spend their days peacefully exploring the unique landscape of their home and exchanging tales of their perspectives on the world. One of their favorite activities is to race each other through an arroyo. When these friends encounter two hunting dogs who have scouted ahead of a hunter called “the Great One,” they stick together to overcome this terrifying situation. However, when things take an unexpected, terrifying twist for the worse, Rodney and Quincy must not only believe in each other but also seek to help the hunting dogs.

This fully illustrated tale features memorable characters who can help to introduce young readers to the wonders of the desert regions in a clever way. Through discussions of their similarities and differences, Rodney and Quincy relate interesting facts about roadrunners and quails in such a way that will easily stick in the minds of their target audience. It is a fun, lighthearted read, which should work very well when shared by elementary school teachers with their classes. However, it could also make a wonderful bedtime story for children who are especially interested in animals. Additionally, the friendship between Rodney and Quincy provides the important lesson that our differences can, in fact, help to unite rather than divide us. They are certainly two friends who prove this truth and can help children to understand it. As such, this story would be a welcome addition to any children’s book library.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home