While other young weasels dance under the pines, Bagley thinks about Bridget, the mesmerizing fish who lives in a pond down the brook from his den. Only a true hero can save Bridget from the gruesome death that awaits her'and this is exactly what Bagley, much to his own surprise, proves himself to be.
Notable Children's Books of 1994 (ALA)
100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1993 (NY Public Library)
1993 "Pick of the Lists" (ABA)
Author Biography: Tor Seidler has written several books for children, including The Wainscott Weasel, an ALA Notable Book, and Mean Margaret, which was nominated for the National Book Award. He lives in New York City.
About the Author
Tor Seidler is the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of more than a dozen children’s books, including Firstborn, The Wainscott Weasel, A Rat’s Tale, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Gully’s Travels, and most notably Mean Margaret, which was a National Book Award Finalist. He lives in New York, New York.
Fred Marcellino, the renowned and beloved artist and illustrator, won a Caldecott Honor for his first full-color picture book, Puss in Boots. He began his career in children’s literature with Tor Seidler’s A Rat’s Tale in 1985, and followed with many other classics such as I, Crocodile and The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
Read an Excerpt
The Wainscott Woods
Most weasels have to devote nearly all their waking hours to hunting but not in Wainscott. In Wainscott, weasels are blessed with free time. During the winter these lucky creatures take a lot of long naps. Once the weather warms up, they dance.
Wainscott used to be about the sleepiest spot on the South Fork of Long Island. A few farms, some woods, and the beachthat was it. But thanks to what human beings call "development' " the farms have been shrinking, their fields gobbled up by summer houses. The woods have shrunk, too, for the same reason. Still, the Wainscott woods haven't disappeared completely. And tucked away in the middle of the scrub oaks there remains a fine old stand of pines. These pines are forever shedding their needles, and the needles make the ground an excellent dance floor: slick as can be, perfect for sliding and gliding.
Since dancing is ridiculous without music, the weasels' dance season didn't usually start till May, when the songbirds fly in from the south. But one year the warm weather and the birds arrived a month early. So the weasels were able to have their First Spring Cotillion in April.
After a winter without dancing, the first cotillion was always an irresistible event, and this year, as usual, weasels from the newer Wainscott families arrived under the pines early, before four o'clock. They squealed happily along with the birds, pounding the needles with their paws. Weasels from the older families arrived later and stood around talking quietly among themselves. But even they couldn't keep their eyes from shining and their tails from twitching.
Of all the weasels underthe pines on that warm April afternoon, the noisiest and most rambunctious were probably the five Whitebelly brothers. The Whitebellys were strapping young weasels with blazing white underbellies. The oldest, and strappingest, was Zeke. Zeke was the best dancer, too. In fact, be tended to be a bit of a show-off. If there was a lull in the music, for example, he would do a back Rip. But be could twirl a pretty young weasel till her head spun.
The two weasels Zeke had most enjoyed twirling last season were both, it so happened, at the First Spring Cotillion. This was nice, in a way, but in another way it made Zeke's life complicated. Dancing with Sally Spots was fun, but while he was out on the needles with her, it was hard not to notice the scowl on Mary Lou Silverface's pale, pretty face. And as soon as he switched to Mary Lou, Sally crossed her forepaws and marched away.
After a while Zeke excused himself from Mary Lou and joined his brothers at the edge of the needles. "Benny boy," he said. "Be a pal and ask Sally to dance, Will you?"
"Sure thing, Zeke," said Ben, the second-oldest Whitebelly. "Where is she?"
"I think she's over behind"
Behind the big stump, Zeke was about to say, but his jaw had dropped. Seated on a root of the stump were the Blackishes, one of the grandest weasel couples in Wainscott. Standing beside them was a young weasel with radiant black fur, miraculously close-set, sparkly eyes, and a blue-jay feather tucked behind one ear.
"Who's she?" Zeke asked, gaping.
"Search me," said Ben.
Zele turned to his brother Bill.
"Search me," Bill said.
"Search us, too," said the two youngest Whitebellys, who were twins.
Just then Mary Lou drifted over. "Zee-eeLe," she whined. "I thought we were dancing."
Zeke didn't seem to hear her.
"Hey, Zeke," Ben said, elbowing him. "Mary Lou's talking to you.
"Mary Lou's talking to you."
But by then Mary Lou had seen what Zeke was gawking at. She turned and stomped off.
"Jeez," Zeke said. "Go ask her to dance, will you, Ben?" "But you just told me to ask Sally."
"Oh, yeah. Billy, you go ask Mary Lou. Okay?"
"Anything you say, Zeke," said Bill.
"How about us?" chimed the twins.
"You boys keep your tails crossed for me," Zeke said.
The Blackishes had been in Wainscott far longer than the Whitebellys, but this didn't keep Zeke from sauntering straight over to them. "Hiya, Mr. and Mrs. Blackish, " he said. "Great cotillion weather, huh?"
"Lovely," said Mrs. Blackish. "And to think it's only April!
"I don't like it," Mr. Blackish grumbled. "This heat keeps up and the woods'll be a tinderbox by July." Mr. Blackish didn't much like this Whitebelly, either. The brash young weasel hadn't so much as tipped his cap to him and his wife.
"Hi," Zeke said, smiling at the gorgeous stranger. "Zeke Whitebelly."
"My niece, Wendy Blackish," Mrs. Blackish said. "She's down from the North Fork for the season."
Zeke's eyes lit up. He was still young enough for a season to seem like forever. "Great feather, Wendy," he said. "Are they big up there?"
"Actually, I just found it this morning," Wendy confessed, her snout blushing a little.
"How do you like Wainscott?" Zeke asked.
"Oh, I love it!" she said. "The sea breezes, the eggs, all the free time ... It's heaven! "
"You don't have free time and eggs up there on the North Fork?"
They certainly didn't any more than they had weasels as handsome and muscular as this Zeke. "We don't have a Double B," Wendy explained, trying not to stare at Zeke's fine white belly.
"So, you like our eggs," Zeke said with a grin. "Me and my brothers do Double B duty all the time. "
The Double B was famous even up on the North Fork. It was a remarkable tunnel that ran the quarter mile from the edge of the Wainscott woods to the chicken coop on the McGees' farm.
"Is it dark inside?" Wendy asked.
"You bet," Zeke said. "It's black as a crow in there."
"It must be hard work, rolling eggs."
"Mm," Zeke said, flexing his muscles.
"And the farmer never misses them?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven't read this book in years, but I still refer to it as my favorite book. It has warm, lovable characters. And a wonderful, charming story. I really could recommend this book to all ages. It's fantastic!
I enjoyed reading this to my 8 and 6 year old. At 200 pages I disagree with the age recommendation. It is definitely a 'read together' book at 5 to 8. It is sweet with nice illustrations and fun to read.
This book The Wainscott Weasel is very entertaining. Once you start to get into it you feel like you're sucked into the book and you never want to go. You can read The Wainscott Weasel and every time you do you will look at it in a seperate way and you can apply yourself to be a different character each time. I loved this book and most people who read it will think so also!
This book always kept you interested, for many things happened, but you never seemed to get lost in all the hustle and bustle in the Wainscott Woods. The illistrations were great and they were a good refrense point for when you got a little lost. It also makes you (well probably more your child) really think if animals could have such complex sociaeties, it keeps them wanting to know more. I would recomend this to anyone and everyone!