Zora's Zucchini

illus. by Anna Raff. 32p. Readers to Eaters. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780983661573.
K-Gr 2—To cure her boredom during the summer break from school, Zora rides her bike to the hardware store. Lucky for her, the store is giving away small zucchini plants. She puts them in her bike basket, brings them home, and plants them in the family garden. The plants take off like gangbusters. By July, large green leaves and brightly colored yellow-orange blossoms as well as the first zucchini appear. The bounty continues, and Zora's family enjoys zucchini in many creative ways. But there is more zucchini than one family can possibly eat. So Zora eventually starts a Garden Swap. Neighbors respond mightily, and soon fruits and veggies ranging from raspberries to potatoes to green beans are up for grabs. With all the success, Zora looks forward to gardening next summer. Though a work of fiction, this story helps shed light on some important topics including finding ways to entertain yourself in the summer, gardening, and healthy eating, as well as community food shares. The story closes with a page about gardens, explaining that approximately one-third of the world's food never gets used. It encourages donating, preserving, and sharing extras from the garden. Text is easy to follow and goes well with the warm and inviting illustrations.
VERDICT A fun and accessible title that lends itself to discussion of gardening, nutrition, and problem-solving.

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