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Cactus Queen: Minerva Hoyt Establishes Joshua Tree National Park

Long before she became known as the Cactus Queen, Minerva Hamilton Hoyt found solace in the unexpected beauty of the Mojave Desert in California. She loved the jackrabbits and coyotes, the prickly cacti, and especially the weird, spiky Joshua trees. However, in the 1920s, hardly anyone else felt the same way. The desert was being thoughtlessly destroyed by anyone and everyone.

With the help of her gardening club, taxidermists, and friends, she took the desert east and put its plants and animals on display. The displays were a hit, but Minerva needed to do much more: she wanted to have the desert recognized as a national park. Although she met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and won him over, Minerva still had to persuade politicians, scientists, teachers, and others to support her cause. And, it worked! Minerva’s efforts led to what came to be known as Joshua Tree National Park in California, and saved hundreds of thousands of plants and animals. This inspiring picture book celebrates an artist, activist, and environmentalist, whose determination saved the desert.

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Description

"This is an admiring, well-written portrait of a woman who worked mightily to overcome indifference and a lack of knowledge and won out to the benefit of all. Quotes from Minerva and others appear throughout. Lively, colorful illustrations, created mostly in Acryla Gouache, as well as in colored pencil and collage, capture Minerva’s enthusiasm and desert scenes teeming with life. A rousing tale about the rescuer of California’s famed desert." — Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Recommended Age 5 - 9
Author Lori Alexander
Illustrator Jenn Ely
ISBN 166268021X
Publication Date Mar 5, 2024
Publisher Calkins Creek
Language English