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Cactus Hotel
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Cactus Hotel

5.0 1
by Brenda Z. Guiberson

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In the Sonoran Desert, many animals make their home in the great saguaro cacti. Read about the many creatures that depend on this giant cactus.


In the Sonoran Desert, many animals make their home in the great saguaro cacti. Read about the many creatures that depend on this giant cactus.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A fascinating look at the life cycle of the giant saguaro cactus and its place in the desert ecosystem.” —Booklist

“Guiberson weaves an amazingly large range of facts into this simple story of a fragile ecosystem.” —Publishers Weekly

Barnes & Noble Staff
The saguaro cactus is born when a seed is dropped in the shade of a tree. In the one hundred fifty years it takes to reach its full height, it becomes a "hotel" for desert wildlife. when it is two hundred years old, the fifty foot cactus topples and supplies shelter for ground dwellers. Guiberson has a talent for writing factual picture books that read like stories, and the vivid, colorful pictures bring this fascinating topic to life.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The intriguing life cycle of the saguaro cactus and the complex web of life that characterizes the North American Sonoran desert is effectively explored in this involving picture book. Guiberson's text captures the reader with its steady pace and often delightful echoes of cumulative nursery tales. She weaves an amazingly large range of facts into this simple story of a fragile ecosystem, and helps children comprehend just how much plants and animals depend upon one another for their survival. Lloyd's ( The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything ) paintings evoke the desert landscape with their pastel-shaded palette, changing point of view and finely rendered scenes of native flora and fauna. Best used as a read-aloud, this is a fine prequel to Barbara Bash's more extensive and detailed Desert Giant . Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Text and illustrations successfully meld to tell this story of the slow-growing saguaro. The plant's 200-year life cycle from seed to final deterioration is presented chronologically. This sequential approach clearly demonstrates plant development and adaptation techniques for survival in a desert habitat. The symbiotic relationship of plant and animal at various stages of growth is shown as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects visit the cactus. Muted double-page illustrations provide a landscape background for the brighter hues of the cactus flowers and the creatures that come to visit. These illustrations are a gentle contrast to the boldness of Desert Giant (Little, 1989) by Barbara Bash and complement the photographs in The Hidden Life of the Desert (Crown, 1990) by Thomas Wiewandt. --Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Owlet Books Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.95(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.09(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Brenda Z. Guiberson has written many books for children, including Spoonbill Swamp, Moon Bear and Disasters. As a child, Brenda never thought she wanted to be a writer—her dreams tended more toward jungle explorer. She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English and Fine Art. She started thinking about writing for children when her son went to elementary school, and she volunteered in his class and in the school library. After taking exciting trips that involved a fifty-foot cactus, hungry alligators and sunset-colored spoonbills, she wanted to create books for children that would be like a field trip. Her books are full of well-researched detail, and Brenda sees this research as an adventure—one that allows her to be a jungle explorer at last. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Megan Lloyd read the manuscript for Cactus Hotel and went to the Saguaro National Monument in Arizona herself. "I like to see what I am going to illustrate rather than make it up," she says. Ms. Lloyd is the illustrator of many picture books, including Brenda Z. Guiberson's Spoonbill Swamp. She lives in Pennsylvania.

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Cactus Hotel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MaidMarion More than 1 year ago
Illustrations are good and the story is calm and little kids love this book. Gives excellent information about the saguaro cactus which is only found in the Sonoran Desert (AZ and Mexico). Very good book to use in school when studying plants, the desert, SW animals or cycle of life. Also, great for home shared reading if you don't live out west and your child has never seen one of the cactus. If you DO live out west, even better because you can use the book to identify and talk about the plants and animals that live around you which is delicious to children. Probably best for 4-7 year olds.