* Winner, 2016 Growing Good Kids Book Award, Junior Master Gardener & American Horticultural Society
* Whole Kids Foundation Book Club Selection
“A fun and accessible title that lends itself to discussion of gardening, nutrition, and problem-solving.”
School Library Journal
"Full of the kinds of quiet details that make children return to a book again and again... Zora's Zucchini satisfies every appetite with its clean, happy storyline and whimsical illustrations."
"After planting a dozen free zucchini plants, Zora finds ways to share and trade her bumper crop with others in her community... Kids should warm to Zora's predicament and resourceful problem-solving."
"Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format."
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media
“This story reveals the benefits of gardening, healthy eating, and community food shares, as well as encourages donating, preserving, and sharing extras from the garden.”
Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
"A joyful read filled with zest and zucchini! If you've ever grown a squash plant that just won't quit, Zora's conundrum will feel quite familiar. Pryor offers a happy, community-based solution that uses cooking and friends to eliminate food waste. It's a super squash somersault of success!"
Amber Stott, Founder & Chief Food Genius, Food Literacy Center
"What a delight! With whimsy, color, and even a few touches of hilarity, Zora’s Zucchini will surely inspire you to get planting. It captures the wonder of a first garden, the bounty of summer, and the promise of fresh vegetables. What is more, it’s a reminder that good food is all about community. Bravo and thank you!”
Ian Cheney, Co-Founder, FoodCorps
"As in their previous picture book Sylvia’s Spinach , Anna Raff’s illustrations are a wonderful companion to Katherine Pryor’s simple story and healthy message for young readers and eaters."
Craig Seashores, President-Elect, Washington Library Media Association, Librarian, Sanislo Elementary
"We’ll never make headway with the pressing environmental issues of our time such as climate change, community-building and food waste without brilliant, fun little books like Zora’s Zucchini."
Tom Watson, "EcoConsumer," KOMO4 TV (Seattle)
"Sparking curiosity in kids about food through stories will empower the coming generations of youth to make healthy food choices for life. Zora’s Zucchini will undoubtedly inspire the natural desire in every child to grow and taste food and to be a part of the 'marketplace.'"
Kristin Hyde, Director of the Pure Food Kids Foundation
“A simple yet powerful story that weaves together the joys of gardening, problem solving, and community building. Zora is an inspiration!”
Emily Han, Co-founder, Food Swap Network
"The perfect read for every present and future gardener!"
Rick Swann, author, Our School Garden!
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.—Robin Sofge, Alexandria Library, VA
After planting a dozen free zucchini plants, Zora finds ways to share and trade her bumper crop with others in her community. "That's going to be a lot of zucchini," her father opines as Zora digs, plants, and waters. "We'll eat it!" she assures him—and as the harvest rolls in, they do. In bread and soup; for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By August, even perpetually rosy Zora realizes that this is too much food for her family. She swaps zucchini for tomatoes with Mrs. Thompson next door, then loads up the basket of her bike, giving zucchini away to neighbors. Still—there's more. Enlisting the help of her sister and brother, Zora arranges a Saturday Garden Swap. After a slow start, neighbors come through, swapping everything from apricots to peppers. "Zora traded and traded until all her zucchini was gone." While adult readers might scoff at the notion that Zora would be the only gardener in the neighborhood growing rampant zucchini plants, kids should warm to Zora's predicament and resourceful problem-solving. Raff's digitally colored watercolors have a cartoonlike, naïve quality. Hands have four fingers, and facial features are depicted as curved lines and dots. The spreads provide plenty of detail for children to notice—such as a cat's displeasure at getting splashed by the watering can. A sturdy effort from a small press focused on food literacy. (ideas for dealing with extra garden produce) (Picture book. 4-8)