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Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Cactus Hotel Cactus Hotel
Written by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Henry Holt, 1991

"On a hot, dry day in the desert, a bright-red fruit falls from a tall saguaro cactus. Plop. It splits apart on the sandy floor. Two thousand black seeds glisten in the sunlight."
It is another hot day in the desert. Birds and other animals scurry about looking for food. When they get tired they stop to rest at a giant cactus. It is their hotel in the desert!

Many different animals live in the cactus hotel. It protects them; and they protect it, by eating the pests that could harm the cactus.

The cactus grows larger and larger and will live for about two hundred years. When one animal moves out, another moves in. There is never a vacancy in the cactus hotel.

This story--about a desert, a giant cactus, and the animals who live in it--is one that even the youngest child will understand and enjoy.


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. --Publisher's Weekly

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. --School Library Journal

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