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Cactus Hotel

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  260 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
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!
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 15th 1993 by Square Fish (first published January 1st 1991)
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Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 27, 2013 added it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Okay, I realize this book was published in 1991, but I have to point out a HUGE mistake. The bats drawn supposedly coming for the nectar of the saguaro flowers are free-tailed bats, which are insectivorous. Nectar-eating bats have a quite different appearance. Seems like it would have been pretty easy to find out.
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a truly remarkable book. The illustrations were gorgeous. The story talked about the life cycle of a cactus and while that may sound boring, it was not. It was fascinating. Along the way we learned about a variety of animals and insects.

We loved this book. We re-read it several times the first day and have read it many times since.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ecology is one of the science units I teach, and this book is fantastic! Especially given that I teach in Arizona, getting to read about the ecology of our actual environment, and the interdependence of all of the organisms in it is fantastic, and my students just love it!
Feb 11, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Julie by: Carol Hurst
Shelves: pre-k, 1, 2, k, 3, desert-theme
A saguaro cactus is an ecosystem within the desert ecosystem. This book shows how each thing that happens to the cactus starts a chain of events affecting many animals and plants in and around it.
Kalenna O'Sullivan
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brenda Z. Guiberson’s The Cactus Hotel explores the life of a saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert. Megan Lloyd’s illustrations show the various types of animals that create the multiple ecosystems surrounding a saguaro throughout its lifetime. The realistic fiction picture book begins with a saguaro fruit dropping to the ground, releasing thousands of seeds. Then, a pack rat carries a seed on its whisker where it falls under a paloverde tree. As the tree provides shade, the cactus sprouts after ...more
Lynn  Davidson
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is such an interesting story about the saguaro cactus that grows in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The author tells about the cactus from its start as a tiny seed, to when it is 150 years old, to when it is full grown and has reached the end of its useful life. In between its beginning and its end the cactus goes through many phases and usefulness in nature to where it becomes shelter, nourishment, and a home for different wildlife.
The life of the saguaro cactus is fascinating, and
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-books
This book goes through a cactus's life cycle. My favorite part about this book is how the birds make nests in the cactus and the cactus makes a thick layer of skin on the inside of the hole for the nest. I like the artistry in this book.
Carsen age 10
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a kid, my mom bought this book for me when she went on a business trip to Arizona. I remember loving the illustrations and picking through the pages all the time. I'm glad I've held onto it for all these years.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weather, science, insects
Wonderfully simple, non-fiction book about the life cycle of the Saguaro cactus, and the animals and insects that make their homes in it as it grows, and as it dies. My 6 year old surprisingly loved this book and enjoyed learning about cacti and desert animals. A great read!
Mayumi Amargo
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful artistry
informative and interesting narrative on cactus-- cacti? Gr. 1-3
Tam Newell
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick picture book about the life cycle of the saguaro cactus and how it helps other creatures in the desert ecosystem.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A favorite science picture book.
Maggie Cook
Sep 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Title: Cactus Hotel

Author: Brenda Z. Guiberson

Illustrator: Megan Llyod

Type of Book (format and literary genre): Picture book/ Fiction and Science

Awards the book has received (national): None

Short original summary of the main plot, describe the content and themes of the book: The book tells about how a cactus is created. It tells about how the seed falls from the fruit of an already grown cactus tree and then is carried away by a desert animal to a place where it can grow. The cactus grows slowly
Chris Shue
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Torrie Heller
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-10-books
type: non-fiction
Genre: picture book
Awards:Parents choice award and IRA-CBC Teachers award
Summary: This book talks about Saguaro Cactus which grow in Sonoran Desert which is partly in North America.This book goes along the time of a Saguaro from when they first begin to grow to when they fall after about 200 years. It talks about how big the cactus is at different stages and after certain amounts of years. It also talks about which animals use it, like which ones eat the fruit and which ones use
Margaret Chind
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: Memoria Press Kindergarten
Seeing the original publication date of 1991 (I was in first grade), I'm surprised I didn't experience this in my elementary school years. Quite honestly this is a great factual book on the desert habitat or specifically the Saguaro Cactus life cycle. This is another excellent choice on the Memoria Press Kindergarten reading list for literature, paired with Deserts by Gail Gibbons. We of course also paired it with the Magic School Bus episode on the desert habitat which expanded our conversation ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
I find it so interesting that this informational text is written in a fiction format. The author describes the life of a saguaro cactus, taking us from the drop of a seedling onto the desert floor, all the way through to the wooden ribs that remain after the cactus has died and fallen to the ground, but she writes it like a story with the saguaro as the "main character." Again, this book focuses on one big idea about the saguaro - it's ability to provide a home for many different desert animals. ...more
Allison DeMeo
Personal Reaction: This book was full of information! Loved it.

Purpose: Read aloud for 2-5th grade students. This book is a book that starts out describing the life of a cactus from first being grown to when it dies. Not only is this a book for a plant lesson but the book also introduces the audience to different animals and insects that live in the dessert. This would be a good book for a dessert lesson, plant lesson, or animal lessons. I would most likely use this on a dessert lesson when talk
Sarah Dziobak
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Cactus Hotel is a very cute book about how a cactus fruit becomes a two hundred and fifty foot tall cactus who eventually falls over in a storm. Through out the story the cactus starts to grow and helps many of the desert animals. It helps a jack rabbit hid from a wolf and becomes a home for a Gila wood pecker, who decides to turn it into a cactus hotel. A winged dove and an elf owl are some of the first animals to come to the hotel. later when the cactus is fifty feet tall it is the home to alm ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This is an older publish date but a good supplementary book for study of deserts, cactus, and other animals in the desert habitat. It tells the story of the saguaro cactus and how long it takes to grow and add arms and how it becomes a home to other animals alive and when it dies. Not non-fiction but written at a fourth grade level. I would recommend to elementary teachers of science and others.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a good non-fiction book about the Saguaro cactus, written as a story. It shows how the cactus seed grows slowly into a small cactus, and then gradually over the course of many years becoming taller, more sturdy, and eventually a home to many animals. We enjoyed the story and the illustrations are great.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
nonfiction picture book about the giant saguaro cactus life cycle, focuses on how it acts as a safe cozy home for other desert dwellers, satisfying ending followed by more information for young readers, good spare illustrations match the text's excellent clear writing
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book caught my kids' attention better than any other book about deserts, out of the half dozen that we read during that unit. They still refer to it. I can't think of any better recommendation than that.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-books
This is a wonderful informational book about saguaro cactus life cycles. It is well written and well illustrated. In addition o information about the cactus, the mention of the many species that make their home in the cactus are equally informative.
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a nonfiction book about the life cycle of my favorite cactus, the Saguaro.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
There's a lot of life in the desert, and in one plant.
Brianna Crall
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Will be great for my 4th grade science unit on organisms and their environment. Had some fun wow factors. :)
Diana Puffer
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved the way this book tells a story of the circle of life and a desert ecosystem!
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a really cool book.
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Brenda Z. Guiberson has written many books for children, including Cactus Hotel, 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 schoo ...more
More about Brenda Z. Guiberson...

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