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Zucchini Out West Hardcover – June, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5. Shy, 10-year-old Billy; his pet ferret, Zucchini; his sister, Emma; and his divorced father visit the prairie in this sequel to Zucchini (HarperCollins, 1982). This episodic tale is the story of that trip, with portions told from the cheery ferret's point of view. The journey gives Billy a chance to spend time with his actor father and to meet the scientists who are working with an endangered species of ferret. The boy wants to find out for certain whether Zucchini is one of that rare breed; if so, he would be forced to hand the animal over to the lab. Five-year-old Emma provides some comic relief to a rather involved plot. Billy's character develops slowly and the adults appear stiff and one-sided. All in all, this is an unexceptional animal adventure. Black-and-white sketches provide some humor. While the book does not have the vitality or charm of Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Morrow, 1965) or Lynne Reid Banks's I Houdini (Doubleday, 1988), it will appeal to ferret lovers and fans of the first book.?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5. In this sequel to Zucchini (1982), 10-year-old Billy Reynolds and his younger sister, Emma, prepare for a three-week vacation with their dad to visit several ferret experts in Wyoming. Billy, who fears that Zucchini may be of the endangered black-footed variety, brings his treasured pet along, even though he knows he may have to surrender it. Further complicating matters, Emma insists her pet mouse, One-Day-Service, join the entourage. The story's strengths include believable characters, a good mix of funny and poignant scenes, and a great deal of information about ferrets. A humorous subplot involving Emma's annoying mouse--whose behavior on its wheel gives new meaning to the term rat race--helps to relieve the tension and provides some action during the long car rides. Multiple viewpoints and the animals' anthropomorphism are also well handled, making this a good pick for middle-graders. Kay Weisman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060248971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060248970
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,289,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In addition to correcting the bulk of incorrect ferret information that was presented in the original book, Zucchini, this heart warming tale also deals with Billy's almost debilitating shyness and Zucchini's dream of a life on the prarie. Barbara Dana surprised me with the incredible amount of growth that Billy and Zucchini undergo (and even Billy's sister to a lesser extent) as they travel out west with Billy's father.
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By D. A. J. VINE VOICE on September 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son is a huge ferret fan and he really enjoyed the first Zucchini book, but was a bit disappointed in some of the inaccurate information about ferrets. The author certainly did further ferret research with this book and not only provided an excellent follow-up to the story, but eased in more accurate ferret information as well.
I was really impressed with this book. It was heartfelt and meaningful. There aren't a lot of books out there for kids that are a bit sensitive (not into violence or unnecessary death) and aren't in to the mass market type books. This book fits the bill. A nice, cute coming of age story with a boy and his first loved pet that is both realistic and well done overall.
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A Kid's Review on October 14, 2003
Format: Library Binding
I loved "Zucchini". I first found it in my school library when I was in grade 2. I'v read it many times since. I find someting new each time. I always wondered if there was a sequal. I always wanted that. When I found out there was, I was so happy! I'm looking forward to read it (and buy both books!). It sounds great! ...
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