School Library JournalGr 4�8—Ten transitional-length chapter books in one weighty volume recount the adventures of the wacky West family as told from the point of view of cousin Michael. An only child with seriously overprotective parents, he is thrilled when his aunt, uncle, five boisterous cousins, and pets of all shapes and sizes move close by. His own household is quiet, refined, and more than a little restrictive. Much to his parents' dismay, he attempts to visit the West gang as often as possible. They welcome him with open arms into their loud and loving, messy and slightly wild lives. Young readers (and boys in particular) will enjoy their repeated exploits involving everything from potty humor and worm farms to barfing carloads of kids and creepy campfire tales. Set in New Zealand, but loaded with universal appeal, these zany tales will please fans of goofy family stories. Pye's lively black-and-white pencil illustrations enliven the first page of each new adventure.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus ReviewsTen interrelated, longish stories, originally published individually, explore the relationship between only-child Michael's family and his cousins who have moved to town. His mother and Auntie Rosie might be sisters, but they are living totally different lives. There is not a trace of dirt at Michael's house--linen napkins and soft, gentlemanly tones are the order of the day. When the Wests blow into town, Michael learns how other families work. The Wests are in a constant state of hubbub and grime. Money is in short supply, but love is not. Michael is instantly welcomed into this warm house, and he spends many of his waking hours figuring out how to get his parents' permission to become a member of the West gang. He takes it all in: the wheeling and dealing of his cousin Royce and his favorite word ("S-H-I-T-!"), baby Honey's toileting escapades, a rotting dead rabbit, a stinking refrigerator and an amputated foot. Along the way, Michael learns to enjoy his own family, and his parents learn to relax a bit, too. The stories create a tidy arc that allows the reader to observe the changes in both families, but the overall length and repeated format (crazy incident plus humorous climax) might overwhelm the young chapter-book reader who tackles it in one go. Episodic enough to dip in and out, this New Zealand import charms in small bites. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Stories of the Wild West Gang based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
When his cousins move into town, Mickey's parents are none too pleased. Mickey's home is calm, hygienic, and perfect. The West's home is none of the above. Mickey can't help but love the chaos and excitement that goes full speed at the West home, even if his cousins get in his nerves sometimes. This book doesn't have much of a plot. Rather, it is a collection of stories and antics about Mickey and his crazy relatives, in somewhat chronological order. It is full of laughs and fun. It would be a great book to read to kids before bed each night, or on a long car trip. Several of the stories made me laugh out loud. Content: a couple instances of profanity