Amy Says Read This

Seriously, you should totally read this.

Storm on the Desert by Carolyn Lesser

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Image from

Lesser, C., & Rand, T. (ill.) (1997). Storm on the Desert. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. ISBN: 9780152721985

Annotation: The Southwestern desert bakes in a summer sun as thirst inhabitants seek shelter. Suddenly, a storm rages, and in the aftermath, the desert is a changed place.

Reaction: I loved this book. Lesser’s poetry is lovely, but it’s Rand’s illustrations that bring to life a monsoon storm in the Sonoran desert. He perfectly captures what a storm is like: sudden, no visibility, flash floods, running for shelter, and the peaceful aftermath, being cleansed by the rain. His illustrations make me homesick for Tucson and the raging summer thunderstorms we endure there.

Lesser gives a shout out to the Desert Museum in Tucson in the acknowledgements, which warms my heart. I never went to the Desert Museum in the six years I lived in Tucson, thinking I would always have the opportunity some other time. Now that I don’t live there, I wish I gone back then.

This book could have a place as a part of a 5th or 6th grade poetry unit, to teach students about free form poetry. It also could be used as part of an ecology unit, to teach students about the desert and its unique inhabitants.

This book has examples of both simile & metaphor.


  • “like a dragon breathing fire”
  • “puff up like a prickly pillows”
  • “fragrance like lemons”
  • “shaking like a dog after a bath”
  • “like towering giants”
  • “as dry as dust”
  • Metaphor:

  • “great bowl of the desert”
  • “bony fingers of lightning”
  • “coyote becoming a shadow”
  • This book is in my Top Ten Favorites.

    Media Used: Pencil, pastel, chalk, and watercolor on 100% rag stock.

    Author’s Website

    Illustrator’s Website


    One thought on “Storm on the Desert by Carolyn Lesser

    1. Pingback: Art & Max by David Wiesner « The Library School Chronicles

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