It's the New Yorker narrator's friend Seymour who tells him that gila monsters meet you at the airport Out West, where the narrator and his parents are moving. Also, everyone is named Tex or Slim; it takes fifteen minutes just to say hello; and ""there's cactus everywhere you look. But if you don't look, you have to stand up just as soon as you sit down."" As he flies across the country, the uprooted boy entertains these and other images all the way to the airport Out West--where he meets not gila monsters but a cowboy-hatted, guitar-toting boy who is moving East. This kid, on his part, is anticipating streets full of gangsters, airplanes zooming through his 50th-floor bedroom, and people stacked two-deep on the subway. ""Sometimes the alligators get out [of the sewers]. And they wait for you at the airport."" Before the taxi drops the new westerners at their suburban home, the narrator has decided to like it Out West--a hasty turnabout even as picture-book adjustments go, but not one that asks for literal acceptance. Sharmat, who recently moved from New York to Tucson, makes her point with the exaggerated stereotypes each kid accepts about the unknown region. And Barton helps to make these images hilarious. Good fun, with lots of application value.