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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Traveling Tessa is an adventure fantasy novel for children and preteens written and illustrated by Carrie Crawford Martinelli. Tessa was so excited that autumn had finally arrived. She had been counting the days, almost wishing that they would fly by more quickly. Tessa and her uncle had always enjoyed a special friendship and understanding, and she had missed him while he was gone. When he arrived, he opened his bag and pulled out a wrapped bundle. Tessa excitedly tore open the wrapping paper and found a brown, furry bear, his beady black eyes seeming to communicate directly with her. Tessa announced, “His name is Mr. Bear.” Her uncle told her that as long as she believed, Mr. Bear, who was a magical bear, would take her wherever she wanted to go. When it was time to go to bed, Mr. Bear was snuggled in under the covers with Tessa. That night, the two new friends would go on their very first adventure.
Carrie Crawford Martinelli’s Traveling Tessa is an enchanting story about Tessa and Mr. Bear’s first trip to Iceland, where Tessa meets a new friend, learns not to fear heights anymore and experiences an ancient and marvelous culture. Along the way, Tessa also learns a lot about herself. This story will appeal to kids of all ages, including those who are still young at heart. Visiting Iceland along with Tessa and Mr. Bear is a grand adventure indeed for anyone lucky enough to read or hear this story read to them. Traveling Tessa is an inspired selection for a bedtime story, one that kids will want to hear again and again. It’s also suitable for slightly advanced young readers to try on their own. Martinelli’s illustrations are as magical as the story itself and add dimension to the tale. I had a marvelous time reading this book and found myself smiling as I read. Where will Tessa and Mr. Bear travel to next, I wonder? Traveling Tessa is most highly recommended.