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THE WAINSCOTT WEASEL by Tor Seidler

THE WAINSCOTT WEASEL

By Tor Seidler (Author) , Fred Marcellino (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-205032-X
Publisher: HarperCollins

 In the gentle spirit of Seidler's A Rat's Tale (1986), a fantasy set on eastern Long Island in a well-established woodland community of weasels. Introspective, aristocratic Bagley Brown misses his chance of winning lovely Wendy Blackish while dreaming of Bridget--a wise, beautiful fish who sends him away because their relationship can come to nought. While Wendy dances (to the music of birds and crickets) with rough Zeke Whitebelly, and eventually agrees to marry him if she can lead sometimes, Bagley dutifully avoids Bridget. He agrees to be ``Best Weasel'' at Wendy's wedding but doesn't show up: ingeniously, and heroically, he's transporting the nest of an osprey (it's threatening Bridget) to another pond. The author's animal society is wonderfully amusing and consistent, with entertainingly uneasy relationships between predators and their possible prey (the weasels snitch eggs from a handy farm, so they aren't particularly bloodthirsty), poking fun at human foibles in witty dialogue that's well grounded in animal nature. The bittersweet end isn't wholly satisfying--lively Wendy seems too subtle for inarticulate Zeke--but Bagley's philosophical acceptance of Bridget's going to sea right after she seeks him out and agrees to be friends is right in character. Twenty-one of the 50 elegantly rendered illustrations are in full color; Marcellino's gracious compositions, delicate modeling, and amiable characterizations are in perfect tune with the engagingly imaginative story. (Fiction. 9-12)