Author: Hawthorne, Lara
As the summer sun sets over the Arizonan desert, wildlife gathers to witness a very special annual event. The night flower is about to bloom.
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2019 Among the many treasures found in the Sonoran Desert is the incredible saguaro cactus. This cactus survives the harsh desert climate thanks to its shallow roots, great for taking in water, and provides safe shelter for birds and other animals. One of the most incredible things about the saguaro are its flowers, which bloom for only one night. Moths, brown bats, bees, birds, and other animals smell the strong scent the flowers release and enjoy the flower's nectar. Beautifully, delicately illustrated pages bring the desert and its plants and animals to life in this nonfiction picture book told in clever and informative rhyming text. Close-ups provide different views of the diversity of life in the desert, which is further elaborated on in a helpful guide at the end of the book that identifies some of the animals depicted. Further information on the saguaro cactus, including an illustrated diagram of the life cycle and parts of the cactus, also follows the text, as well as a glossary. A great addition to children's nonfiction picture-book collections. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2019 K-Gr 2—Hawthorne makes her nonfiction debut with this beautifully illustrated introduction to the saguaro cactus. Covering 24 hours in the Sonoran desert, the book's pages are principally filled with depictions of the flora and fauna in the desert, while rhyming quatrains provide a lively description of the activity that can be found in the habitat. The text and renderings at the beginning of the book demonstrate the central role saguaros play in Southwestern America's diurnal wildlife: providing food, water, and shelter for the many animals Hawthorne showcases. When night finally falls, nocturnal pollinators flock to the saguaro as its magnificent flower blooms by moonlight. The text is as informative as it is lyrical; however, the real attraction here is the illustrations. The clean lines and minimalist style lend themselves particularly well to the starkness of a desert landscape, while including enough detail in the animal renderings to ensure scientific accuracy. Five pages of illustrated back matter include the parts and life cycle of a saguaro, trivia on various desert animals, and a glossary of biology and botany terms used throughout. VERDICT With its rhyming text and stylized illustrations, this wonderful read-aloud possibility for an elementary school science unit will fascinate readers while conveying the importance of the saguaro in the desert ecosystem.—Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NC - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.