Young Tesana has problems at home and at school. She doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. She’s overweight, restless, seemingly friendless, and unhappy overall with her life. She imagines a vivid fantasy life (like a unicorn who comes to fly her to school after she gets kicked off the school bus), but nothing prepares her for the real thing: a rabbit who lays Easter eggs…the real-life Easter Bunny.
Cue the world that Tesana doesn’t get along with: They all seem to conspire to keep Tesana away from the bunny. Once word gets out about Mr. Easter, the pet store owner wants him back (and seemingly will do anything to get him back), and Tesana’s mother is none too happy with the rabbit either. Tesana develops a plan to get Mr. Easter to safety in the North Pole, and the action commences from there.
Brooke A. Allen’s story is imaginative and fun, but certainly not light and airy. The language is not inappropriate for younger readers, although the situation is more suitable for older kids (Tesana’s home situation is implied to be negative, though it’s never clear if her mother is any more than just a little emotionally abusive). The artwork alone probably speaks to the age group it’s intended for more than anything: The art will appeal to slightly older readers more than young ones. The rest of the story embarks on an adventure with mild violence, but nothing too shocking.
Older readers will really enjoy the fantasy element and how it speaks to the alienation of so many people on so many levels. Tesana is a good-hearted heroine and one who deserves the rich fantasy life she has constructed. A HOME FOR MR. EASTER is a delightfully good time for adults and kids alike.
Reviewed by John Hogan on June 1, 2010
A Home for Mr. Easter