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.
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