I’m reading The Wainscott Weasel to my daughter at bedtime. Tor Seidler’s rhythmic storytelling and Fred Marcellino’s graceful illustrations are so totally in tune with each other, it’s worth taking off the shelf if you haven’t read it in a while.
Stellar pacing and expressive illustration, this is a prime example of words and art in perfect harmony.
Published in 1993 by HarperCollins and reissued in 2014, this was the second collaboration for Seidler and Marcellino (A Rat’s Tale, about a
Manhattan rodent, appeared in 1986), and the combination is electric. The story follows love-struck weasels, striped bass, and a predatory osprey all living on the South Fork of Long Island. There are daring acts of heroism, dancing, and dashes of philosophical musings on a weasel’s rightful place in the world. Big concepts, yes, but skillfully and simply articulated for young readers. Up and coming children’s book creators would learn much about their craft by reading this book.
Siedler continues to write–Mean Margaret (1997) was named
Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association, and his most recent book, Firstborn, was published in 2015. Marcellino designed book jackets for Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale and Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities and others before entering and revolutionizing the world of children’s picture book art. He died of colon cancer in July 2001.