This book's dawdling pace may leave readers wondering just who's playing 'possum: the characters in the book or the book itself. Little Tah-Tye, a baby opossum, suffers from separation anxieties when Mamma 'Possum cuts off access to his warm, secure pouch. On various forays into the bayou, Tah-Tye gets his nose scratched by brambles and his tail nipped by a snapping turtle. His mother remains sympathetic but insists he stay outside in the cold, cruel world. After pigging out on persimmons, Tah-Tye begins to feel a little more self-confident. The ultimate challenge comes with a surprise rattlesnake attack. Tah-Tye plays deadjust like the grown-ups doand passes his initiation into adulthood with flying colors. The bayou locale adds ambience, although the story meanders like a Louisiana tributary without justifiable effect. The illustrations portray the blue and green of a swamp in moonlight.