"Desert Trip" is a beautiful book. In it, a mother and her daughter go on a backpacking trip. On their journey, the two come across various desert plants like globe mallow and cliff rose. The mom shares some facts with her child about how Indians used plants like Utah Juniper. They come across wildlife like tadpoles and a rabbit. There are subtle but powerful lessons in the book. The mother discourages her daughter from stepping into a desert pool, the two have a decidedly small campfire and they break-up the campfire pit the following morning. While this isn't exactly the wilderness ethic of leave no trace, the mother does teach her daughter to respect, protect and enjoy the environment. Barbara Steiner effectively captured the solitude and peacefulness of the desert. Given the sandstone, eerie formations and arches, the setting can be placed in Utah. That written, the flora and fauna are widespread enough throughout the West that the story could have local meaning in almost any desert community. The idea for a mother/daughter backpacking trip is an unusual and refreshing concept. In addition to the characters, the book has a feminine feel given Ronald Himler's soft illustrations and the omission of the desert's more prickly residents like scorpions, gila monsters and agaves. In light of the diction, syntax and text size, this read will work well with third and fourth graders. When it comes to young people's books, the marketplace is filled with general/introductory books about the desert and specific books about the Sonoran. That written, there aren't too many books out there that celebrate a connection between young people, the desert and backpacking. Hats off to the Sierra Club for publishing the gently remarkable "Desert Trip."