Cactus Hotel

written by Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrated by Megan Lloyd

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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.


Praise for Cactus Hotel

"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

Reviews from Goodreads



  • written by Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrated by Megan Lloyd

  • 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.
  • Brenda Z. Guiberson Mary M. Gallagher


Available Formats and Book Details

Cactus Hotel

written by Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrated by Megan Lloyd

American Library Association Notable Children's Books, IRA Teachers' Choices, NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A, National Science Teacher's Association-CBC, Outstanding Scie, Parents' Choice Award Winner