Celebrating a birthday is always a happy occasion but never more so in this desert community than when it's a centenary for a grand Saguaro cactus! For one hundred years, the majestic cactus has anchored this vibrant neighborhood, providing food, shelter, and shade to the local wildlife inhabitants. In beautiful rhyming text, the creatures that depend on Saguaro's gifts come to pay homage, including the tiny bat that sips nectar from the plant's flower, the finches looking for a place to build their nest, and the grateful tortoise that enjoys its fruit. Magnificent artwork brings the desert landscape and creatures to life, showing the interdependence between plants and animals. Readers young and old will appreciate this timely message of how essential even an old cactus is to our environment and the world we all share. Back matter includes information on the interdependence of the desert community.
|Kindergarten - Grade 3
|ATOS Reading Level
|Guided Reading Level
|Sleeping Bear Press
|Hardcover (9781534111301), PDF (9781534192362), Hosted ebook (9781534192485)
|Number of Pages
|11 x 9
San Francisco Book Review - Saguaro's Gifts
It’s Saguaro’s one-hundredth birthday, and all those who’ve benefited from its presence in the dry hills where survival is an eternal challenge come to celebrate and pay gratitude to this resilient friend of theirs. The owl swoops down to find his resting place among its sharp spines, and bees, butterflies, and doves fly in to savor Saguaro’s sweetness. An old tortoise searches for fallen fruit, and a finch creates a nest in Saguaro’s thick stem. A bobcat climbs high on Saguaro, and a lizard comes with well wishes. In the midst of all the activity, Saguaro’s seeds are scattered, so that someday new life will begin.
This is a poignant story about reciprocity, thankfulness, and longevity. It’s about giving back to those who’ve been tried and true over a lifetime. It’s also a testimony to nature and the amazing gifts it offers so freely.
Scripted font and a glossy cover add a rich elegance; the text is aesthetically beautiful. The illustrations are displayed in gorgeous hues and are crafted with precision. The illustrator’s experience in tropical rain forests proves valuable to his contribution. Combined with the author’s elegant prose and heartfelt message, this is a masterpiece that’ll be favored by children and adults alike.
Author: Kurt Cyrus
On his way to becoming a writer, Kurt Cyrus picked fruit, drove forklifts, framed pictures, built solar panels, delivered oxygen, drilled holes in concrete, and manufactured burial vaults, among other things. Now he writes books (Invisible Lizard; Motor Dog), illustrates books (Hibernation Station; Mammoths on the Move), and sometimes writes and illustrates books (Billions of Bricks; Shake a Leg, Egg!). Check him out at www.kurtcyrus.com. Kurt lives in Oregon.
Illustrator: Andy Atkins
Andy Atkins’s adventures in tropical rainforests proved to be a valuable resource for the artwork in this book. He lives in Ventura, California.
|Educational front/back matter