Weaver, Tess

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Weaver, Tess

Personal

Born in Coshocton, OH; married; children: two sons.

Addresses

Home—Iowa City, IA. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Children's book author. Has also worked as a marketing manager, book reviewer, and copywriter.

Awards, Honors

Award for Excellence, Cat Writers' Association, New England Book Show Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Gold Award, all 2003, all for Opera Cat.

Writings

Opera Cat, illustrated by Andréa Wesson, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Cat Jumped In!, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Frederick Finch, Loudmouth, illustrated by Debbie Tilley, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2008.

Encore, Opera Cat, illustrated by Andréa Wesson, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2009.

Sidelights

Tess Weaver is the author of such critically acclaimed picture books as Opera Cat and Frederick Finch, Loudmouth. Having worked as a marketing manager and book reviewer, Weaver began penning stories for young readers after her youngest child turned five years old. "Writing children's books is my over-the-moon dream job," she admitted on her home page.

Weaver's award-winning picture-book debut, Opera Cat, appeared in 2002. Illustrated by Andréa Wesson, the work concerns Alma, a music-loving feline, and her owner, Madame SoSo, an acclaimed opera singer. When the diva is felled by a case of laryngitis just before starring in a big performance, Alma unexpectedly comes to her companion's assistance. Having listened to every one of Madame SoSo's practice sessions, the cat knows all the tunes and astonishes her owner by singing them beautifully. The pair then devises a clever plan that allows both of them to take the stage together. A contributor in Publishers Weekly described Opera Cat as "a delightful star-is-born story," and a Kirkus Reviews critic remarked that Weaver's imaginative tale is "deftly drawn through detailed settings, sensory allusions, and just the right amount of melodrama and romance." According to Maryann H. Owen, writing in School Library Journal, "children will be charmed to see a cat earn her 15 minutes of fame." Weaver and Wesson have also collaborated on Encore, Opera Cat, a companion volume.

A curious feline is the focus of Weaver's Cat Jumped In!, a picture book illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. When he spies an open window in the kitchen, an energetic black-and-white cat leaps outdoors, in the process tipping over a trash can and creating a mess. Misadventure follows misadventure as the feline proceeds to invade a closet, where he brings down a shelf, as well as his owner's art studio, where he leaves a trail of paint. "Some 26 different verbs describe the cat's movements, infusing the story with plenty of action," Randall Enos stated in Booklist. Kate McClelland, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, predicted that Cat Jumped In! would make a good choice for read-alouds, noting that Weaver's "text is patterned and repetitive, containing many action and onomatopoeic words to delight teachers."

In Weaver's Frederick Finch, Loudmouth, illustrated by Debbie Tilley, a young boy gamely attempts to prove his worth. Even though the Finch family attends the State Fair each year, Frederick fails to win a single contest and comes home empty-handed while his siblings garner a host of prizes. Determined to get a ribbon of his own, the boy realizes that he must enter a competition that minimizes his greatest weakness: his incredibly loud voice. At the suggestion of his mother, the youngster creates a brightly colored shirt for the Boys' Fashion Fair that earns rave reviews, and he also finds a new event that is particularly well-suited to his tastes: a Mom-hollering Contest. A contributor in Kirkus Reviews described Frederick Finch, Loudmouth as "seriously zany," adding that "its goofiness is its saving grace." According to Lynne Mattern, writing in School Library Journal, "Frederick is a likable character who perseveres and continually tries to succeed."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2002, John Peters, review of Opera Cat, p. 339; December 15, 2007, Randall Enos, review of Cat Jumped In!, p. 49; June 1, 2008, Hazel Rochman, review of Frederick Finch, Loudmouth, p. 87.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Opera Cat, p. 1483; October 1, 2007, review of Cat Jumped In!; April 1, 2008, review of Frederick Finch, Loudmouth.

Publishers Weekly, September 16, 2002, review of Opera Cat, p. 68.

School Library Journal, December, 2002, Maryann H. Owen, review of Opera Cat, p. 112; December, 2007, Kate McClelland, review of Cat Jumped In!, p. 102; June, 2008, Lynne Mattern, review of Frederick Finch, Loudmouth, p. 116.

ONLINE

Tess Weaver Home Page,http://www.tessweaver.com (January 20, 2009).