Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs
Book 5: The Backyard
Animal Show

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Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Book 5: The Backyard Animal Show
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Intro, Summary & General Questions

Ziggy and his friends are excited about watching the heavy machinery at the construction site for a new apartment complex--until a doe is killed by a dump truck and the boys rescue her orphaned fawn. Suddenly they realize what the destruction of their habitat means to the animals in the area and they come up with a great way to help. They decide to start a neighborhood animal show to raise money for the local wildlife rescue center. How hard can that be with the adorable fawn as the star attraction? The fifth adventure of Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs answers that question with some adventure, lots of laughs, and a lesson about learning to let go.

The Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Series

Book #1 - The Buried Bones Mystery

Book #2 - Lost in the Tunnel of Time

Book #3 - Shadows of Caesar's Creek

Book #4 - The Space Camp Adventure

Book #5 - The Backyard Animal Show

Book #6 - Stars and Sparks on Stage

Shopping Cart
Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Book 5: The Backyard Animal Show
Hardback   $15.99
Paperback   $5.99

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Reviews & Awards

Shopping Cart
Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Book 5: The Backyard Animal Show
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Paperback   $5.99

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Study Guides

Discussion Topics

Chapter 1

  1. Compare the sounds that trucks and heavy equipment might make and the sounds of nature, like birds or animals.

  2. Why is Ziggy excited about the construction project in his neighborhood? What is going to be built?

  3. Give an example of Ziggy's unusual eating habits.

  4. The building project will bring new housing to the neighborhood, but what will it destroy?

  5. Why will the boys have lots of time to watch the construction project?

  6. Why do you think the boys compare the construction equipment to dinosaurs?

  7. "The huge yellow backhoe looked almost graceful as it scooped dirt from an increasingly large hole. Its long yellow neck dipped, scraped, and pulled huge clods of earth, pebbles and branches dangling from its claw teeth like remains of a meal" Write another descriptive sentence that describes a mechanical object like an animal.

  8. Make a list of all the heavy equipment the boys observe.

  9. What will happen to the animals that once lived where the new construction is taking place?

  10. What tragedy was caused by one of the trucks?

Chapter 2

  1. What signs indicate that the dear has lost her life?

  2. How do you think the driver of the truck felt?

  3. How did the driver know the deer was a female??

  4. Why is Rico angry?

  5. Why do the boys decide to try to find the fawn?

  6. What abilities would a dog need to find an animal in the woods?

  7. Tell several reasons why it would be difficult to find a fawn in the woods.

  8. Describe the fawn.

  9. What do you think about their plans to take the fawn to Ziggy's house?

  10. Make a prediction: What will happen when they get the baby deer home?

Chapter 3

  1. What is the plan for sneaking the animal into the house?

  2. What does Jerome predict about Ziggy's mother?

  3. What does Mrs. Colwin prepare for lunch?

  4. How do you know the boys didn't fool Ziggy's mom?

  5. Why do you think she let them think they had fooled her?

  6. Ziggy's mother tries to explain the difference between raising a puppy and taking care of a wild animal. Tell some of the differences and difficulties.

  7. How big does an adult deer get, according to Ziggy's mother?

  8. Describe Ziggy's bedroom.

  9. If you had a baby deer, what would you feed it?

  10. What do the boys have to learn really fast?

  11. List all the things the boys had not considered when they brought the deer home.

Chapter 4

  1. How does one give milk to a baby deer?

  2. What kind of milk do they decide to use?

  3. How often does the fawn need to be fed? Why would that be a problem?

  4. Make a prediction: What are the boys about to learn about responsibility?

  5. Make a prediction: What will happen when school starts?

  6. What do the boys learn about the digestive system?

  7. Why do they decide to keep the deer in the shed?

  8. Describe how the boys cooperate and work together.

  9. What did they learn about the Ohio Wildlife Refuge Center?

  10. What do they name and fawn and why?

Chapter 5

  1. How do the parents of the four boys react to the baby deer project?

  2. How do you know the animal has grown and flourished?

  3. As Rashawn fed the deer from the bottle, he said, "This has been hard, man, but I think it's the best thing we've ever done." Why do you think Rashawn says this?

  4. What are the plans for taking care of the fawn after school starts?

  5. Name several good things about having a pet deer in your yard.

  6. Name several negative things about having a pet deer in your yard.

  7. Why would the Ohio Wildlife Refuge Center say the deer needs to be with other deer?

  8. Why do the boys want to show off Dino to their friends?

  9. Why do they decide to have a back yard zoo?

  10. What do they plan to do with any money they raise?

Chapter 6

  1. What is the purpose of the posters?

  2. What is the purpose of the pictures?

  3. How their teacher react to the story of the baby deer?

  4. How do you know that Rashawn might like Tiana a little?

  5. How many children offer to bring an animal on Saturday?

  6. List the animals that each student offers to bring.

  7. What rules do the boys give the other children about their animals?

  8. What problems might occur if the wrong animals got close to each other?

  9. If you could come to the backyard animal show with any animal you wanted, what animal would you choose to bring?

  10. Make a prediction: How successful will the animal show be?

Chapter 7

  1. Describe the shed when the boys got home. Why do you think the fawn did that?

  2. Why do they decide to leave him in the yard the next day?

  3. "You've got to go and live with other deer soon, so you can learn how to do deer-stuff, like running through the woods, growing antlers, and finding a girl deer to marry." What this show about Ziggy and his understanding of the deer's situation?

  4. The boys notice that the area where they found the deer is completely cleared. What do you think would have happened to the baby deer?

  5. What do you think happened to the other animals who lived in that area?

  6. How did Dino manage the first day they left him out of the shed?

  7. Why do they plan for awards for the show?

  8. What final plans do they make for the show?

  9. How are their parents helping? Who seems to be doing most of the work?

  10. Make a prediction: What will the weather be like on Saturday?

Chapter 8

  1. "Saturday morning dawned cloudy and dreary. Thick, heavy rain clouds sagged low in the sky." Write a descriptive sentence that pictures of any kind of weather.

  2. How do you think the boys felt that morning?

  3. Why do they decide to have the show, even though it might rain?

  4. Why do you think the cats were so upset?

  5. What does Liza learn about snakes?

  6. Describe Dino as the children see him for the first time.

  7. Why do you think Ziggy and his friends felt such pride?

  8. How did Afrika react to the other dogs? How did Afrika unknowingly start the trouble?

  9. How did Dino get out of the yard and onto the deck?

  10. Make a prediction. What will happen because of the sudden rainstorm?

Chapter 9

  1. How did the animals, including Dino, get into the house?

  2. Describe the confusion in Ziggy's living room.

  3. If you were Ziggy's mother, what would you do and what would you say?

  4. If you were in Ziggy's living room with a pet, describe how you would feel.

  5. Why do you think Rico and Ziggy were angry at the dog Monster?

  6. What was funny about Pookie the poodle?

  7. "This was the most fun I've had on a Saturday in a long time!" Brian said as he left. Why do you think he said that?

  8. What happened to the awards the boys had planned to give out?

  9. Describe Ziggy's kitchen and living room after everyone had left.

  10. What do you think the boys learned that day?

  11. Tell three funny events that happened that day that might have turned out disastrous.

Chapter 10

  1. "But it's still raining, mon!" Ziggy cried. "Dino will get all wet." What do you think wild animals do in the rain or snow or bad weather?

  2. How much money did the boys make from their show?

  3. How much damage did they cause?

  4. What did Ziggy's mother say was the reason she wasn't going to make them pay for the lamp? What do you think was the real reason?

  5. Why do you think Ziggy's mom says it's time for the deer to go?

  6. What does the Ohio Wildlife Rescue Center tell the boys?

  7. Why do you think the Ohio Wildlife Rescue Center would be a good place for Dino?

  8. How do you think the boys felt about the decision to take Dino away?

  9. "The fire crackled, the logs glowed brightly, and four boys dreamed of a young deer running free in the woods." Write what you think each boy dreamed of?

  10. Make a prediction: What do you think might happen if the boys saw Dino in one year?


Use the Internet or an encyclopedia, or books to find out more about the following:

A. Information to explore and discover.
  1. wild deer in residential neighborhoods

  2. construction trucks

  3. deer hunting laws

  4. clearing forests and woods

  5. wildlife refuge centers

  6. national parks

  7. caring for abandoned animals

  8. zoos

  9. advertising

  10. progress vs. conservation

B. Vocabulary

  1. demolition

  2. construction

  3. destruction

  4. tarantula

  5. boa constrictor

  6. conservation

  7. preservation

  8. ecology

  9. endangered species

  10. environment

  11. ecosystem

C. Jobs to explore:

  1. veterinarian

  2. construction engineer

  3. park ranger

  4. architect

  5. builder

  6. heavy equipment operator

  7. zoo worker

  8. ecologist

  9. animal scientist

  10. meteorologist

D. Investigations:

  1. Find out what happens in your town to an animal that is found dead on the side of a road.

  2. When you see a road sign with a picture of a deer on it, what does that mean?

  3. What would happen if you approached the fawn of a real mother deer?

  4. What are the dangers of humans interacting with wild animals?

  5. What are the dangers of adopting a wild animal as a pet?

  6. Why is it not a good idea for humans to feed wild animals in their neighborhood like raccoons and squirrels?

  7. What organization would you call if you found an injured or abandoned wild animal?

  8. What is the policy of most local zoos when people want to bring them abandoned or injured wild animals?

  9. Why should wild animals be protected?

  10. Recently, many cases of dangerous animals like bears or wildcats or alligators showing up in residential neighborhoods have been reported. Why do you think this is happening?

E. Writing Activities:

  1. Tell the life story of a deer, from birth to adulthood. Draw pictures to accompany your narrative.

  2. Write a story, with you as the main character, as you plan an animal show or as you raise an unusual pet.

  3. Make up a story about any animal you choose, or an animal you invent. Be creative. Draw a picture of your animal.

  4. Write an account of what it might be like to work at a zoo. Include sights, sounds, and smells in your story.

  5. Write a poem about any animal or problems that might be caused by an animal.

  6. Write a mystery about a baby animal that includes clues. At the end of your story show how the clues are solved.

  7. Write a newspaper story that reports the events of the backyard zoo. Pretend you are interviewing each child who was there after they got back home.

  8. Write a report on what is being done in your area to protect animals or the environment.

  9. Write a report about the exotic wild animals (like lions or tigers) who are kept as pets.

  10. Write a story about Dino's life after he leaves the boys.

F. Organizations and their Websites (Please note: These are listed for further study and investigation and are informational purposes only. Use with children at your discretion.)

  1. Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Inc. (http://www.wildlife-rescue.org/)

  2. The Nature Conservancy (http://www.nature.org/)

  3. Wildaid (http://www.wildaid.org/eng.asp?CID=1?googlead1)

  4. Animal Protection Institute (http://www.api4animals.org/)

  5. Animal Protection Organizations (http://www.greenpeople.org/sanctuary.htm)

  6. Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org/international/)

  7. The Humane Society (http://www.hsus.org/humane_living/index.html)

  8. The Wildlife Protection Network (http://www.wildlifeprotection.net/)

  9. article on the whitetail deer (http://www.waol.com/pages/s72.html)

  10. a picture of a baby deer (http://www.webshots.com/g/d2004/4-nw/45925.html)

The Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Series

Book #1 - The Buried Bones Mystery

Book #2 - Lost in the Tunnel of Time

Book #3 - Shadows of Caesar's Creek

Book #4 - The Space Camp Adventure

Book #5 - The Backyard Animal Show

Book #6 - Stars and Sparks on Stage