cover image Tessa on Her Own

Tessa on Her Own

Alyssa Chase, Alyssa Chase Rebein. MarshMedia, $16.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-1-55942-064-8

Tessa, a red fox kit, is too lazy to hunt, but she can always talk her brother Rex into sharing his catch. Finally Rex's altruism wears thin, and he declares that he's going off on his own. Not to be outdone, Tessa goes her own way as well, eventually vying with the raccoons for the scraps in city garbage cans. Only after she is trapped overnight in a dumpster does Tessa finally face up to her indolence and resolve to change. Lest any reader miss the point, an afterword addressed to ``parents and educators'' pounds home the book's didactic purpose: people ``must work to live succesfully.'' However, Maeno's (Minou; Kylie's Song) lovely watercolors, filled with botanical abilities, may redeem this heavy-handed story for some nature lovers. The illustrated endpapers add facts about flora and fauna glimpsed within. A videocassette and an activity guide are also available. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)