George, The Man With the Yellow Hat, and Mr. and Mrs. Quint are going to the desert to dig for fossils. When they arrive, George meets an Indian chief named John, who shows him how he paints out of desert sand colored with natural chemicals. John paints a picture of George in the sand but a few bunnies come and eat his painting! After John leaves to help The Man and Mr. Quint, George decides to make his own sand paint and paint his own picture. George soon finds that all the sand in the desert is the same shade of light brown, but he discovers how fruits and vegetables can be used to color the sand. He also needs to make sure that the sand is dry so it can flow from his hands. Once he figures out the recipe for good colored sand paint, he just needs to find a way to stop it from blowing away in the desert sand, and to make it bunny-proof.