A Home for Mr. Easter
Some heroes we love because they are idealized versions of ourselves – stronger, faster, smarter, better looking. And some we love because they are dark and brooding and filled with beautiful torment and we want to hug them and hold them and help them make their world a brighter place. And then there are heroes we love because they are ridiculous and insane and hilariously clueless and such all around great people that we can’t help standing up and cheering for them, no matter what unbelievable adventure they have gotten themselves into this time. Tesana, the heroine of “A Home for Mr. Easter,” definitely falls into that last category. She is large and sweet and strange and she just wants to do the right thing, even though it seems like the entire world is out to stop her.
Whether she knows it or not, Tesana’s world is out to get her. Her mother doesn’t understand her, the kids at school make fun of her, and no matter how many times she imagines her mighty unicorn protector will swoop down and save her, he never really arrives. In fact, her life is about as un-magical as it can get. At least it is until she finds a bunny at the meeting of the Pep Rally Planning Committee and suddenly finds herself being chased by students, nefarious shop owners, her enraged and worried mother, protestors, and scientists. They all want a piece of Tesana, or more like her amazing talking rabbit, which she calls Mr. Easter. And all Tesana wants is to help Mr. Easter find his way home. On her quest (which she takes VERY seriously) Tesana manages to stumble through fights with the football team, conversations with a crazy cat lady, another in a long line of school expulsions, a foot chase with the police, an animal rights’ protest, and an escape by rabbits used for scientific testing. And in the end, though it seems like everyone in the universe is either trying to catch her, stop her, or follow her, she manages to get Mr. Easter back to the farm where he belongs. She even gets a few wishes out of the deal.
Reading “A Home for Mr. Easter” is never dull. The action starts in almost the first panel and just keeps building from there. Though there are a few pit stops on the way, the story is basically one long chase scene. It’s a humorous chase scene, however, filled with bunnies and cheerleaders and crazy cat ladies and hippies and even a magician or two, unlike the ultra violent car-gun-shoot-em-up chase scenes seen in many movies. It is a chase that not only makes you laugh, but also leads you on a merry adventure further and further into the land of make-believe, as the people and places and events that Tesana and Mr. Easter meet get ever more absurd. But it is also a story that has a sweet, soft side about family and love and even friendship, and about believing in the people that we care about (makes you want to go “awwwww,” doesn’t it?) At the center of the book is the tale of Tesana and her mother, who doesn’t understand her and worries about her and can’t figure out why she would rather watch documentaries on giant squids then find a way to fit in at school. By the time this breathtaking, preposterous, highly enjoyable story reaches its climax, Tesana’s mother has managed to find a way to accept her imaginative and unique daughter just the way she is. It’s a lovely moment of peace and truth and the enormous tentacled monsters.