Cover image for Around one cactus : owls, bats, and leaping rats
Around one cactus : owls, bats, and leaping rats
Fredericks, Anthony D.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Nevada City, CA : Dawn Publications, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm.
A child sees a saguaro cactus by day but there are no animals until after he leaves, when various creatures come out to play and prey. Also includes "field notes" which provide more facts about desert animals.
Reading Level:
AD 1280 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 6.1 0.5 72436.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 1 Quiz: 36142 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL116 .F74 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



This wonderful book is natural science - in this case, about desert animals - with a flair. A boy walks up to an impressive saguaro cactus and wonders who could be living on this arid ground? As night falls, he walks away. And then the place comes alive! A haven for creatures in a waterless land. The entertaining, repetitive rhyme is an attention-grabbing read-aloud that culminates in successful learning. Field Notes at the end of the book describe the animals in detail and include an unusual fact.

Author Notes

Author Anthony D. Fredericks is a native of Newport Beach, California. After working as an elementary educator and reading specialist, he is currently a Professor of Education at York College, York, Pennsylvania.

As the author of 20 award-winning children's books as well as more than 50 resource books for teachers and parents, he is a frequent visitor to schools around the country, where he shares his enthusiasm and love for writing.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-In a cadence reminiscent of Arnold Lobel's The Rose in My Garden (HarperTrophy, 1993), Fredericks utilizes a cumulative rhyme to introduce the community of a Saguaro cactus. A young boy observes the impressive plant and wonders, "Who could be living on this arid ground?" As night falls, he walks away and the animals begin to "play and prey." First, "A leaping rat builds a cozy nest/(A sheltered place for her young to rest)/Beside the cactus tall and grand,/A haven for creatures in a waterless land." Each additional verse conveys a few facts about another desert inhabitant. A "Field Notes" section at the end explains that these animals can be found in the Sonoran desert and provides some background about each of them. DiRubbio's vibrantly colored and detailed illustrations-including pictures of a speckled Gila monster and sharp-eyed owl-are sized perfectly to provide clarity. Combining an elegant text with dramatic artwork, this book is an attention-grabbing read-aloud and a winner for any collection.-Phyllis M. Simon, Bay Shore School District, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.