Cheetah Can't Lose

( 1 )

Overview

It's race day, and once and for all, it's time to determine the better feline: little cats or big cheetah.

Cheetah might be bigger, taller, stronger, faster . . . but the little cats have some tricks up their sleeves, so don't count them out!

With his signature wit and bold, graphic art, Bob Shea brings us an irresistible story about the difference between brains and brawn.

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Overview

It's race day, and once and for all, it's time to determine the better feline: little cats or big cheetah.

Cheetah might be bigger, taller, stronger, faster . . . but the little cats have some tricks up their sleeves, so don't count them out!

With his signature wit and bold, graphic art, Bob Shea brings us an irresistible story about the difference between brains and brawn.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cheetah is insufferably competitive. When he hears that his two little cat friends are excited about the “big race day, ” he interjects, “The one I always win because I am big and fast and you always lose because you are little and cats?” To teach Cheetah a lesson, the cats devise a series of increasingly humiliating tricks, masked as competitions, that capitalize on Cheetah’s clueless arrogance, weighing him down with heavy “winner shoes,” a vision-obscuring crown, several pies, and an ice cream sundae. Suddenly mortified to see Cheetah robbed of his self-image (an epiphany that gives the title a deeper meaning), the cats name him the winner of the day. Shea, returning to the more textured and stylized characterizations of Race You to Bed (2010), has the cats’ scheme unfold against a crisp white backdrop; propping is minimal, and subtle drop shadows provide the only clues of a stable sense of gravity. The story’s thought-provoking conclusion is equally striking, albeit subtly argued: even a richly deserved comeuppance can go too far, and real friends overlook one another’s foibles. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
ALA Booklist
“The art’s lively energy keeps the book buzzing … Kids will enjoy having one over on Cheetah as they see what’s coming, and they’ll appreciate an ending twist in which the loudmouthed braggart does not learn a lesson and the smaller felines suggest that winning isn’t actually everything.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for I’M A SHARK: “Warm up your performance skills for the exclamatory narrative, and watch your audience become a school of kid-sized great whites before your very eyes.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for I’M A SHARK: “Warm up your performance skills for the exclamatory narrative, and watch your audience become a school of kid-sized great whites before your very eyes.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Praise for I’M A SHARK: “Warm up your performance skills for the exclamatory narrative, and watch your audience become a school of kid-sized great whites before your very eyes.
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
On Big Race Day, arrogant Cheetah does not buy into the kittens' plan to have several smaller races as well as the Big Race so that others can claim victory as well. He confidently ascertains he will win those, too. After all, he is bigger and stronger for sure, but the little cats have some tricks up their sleeves. Their expressive faces help clue young readers into their plan, as they award Cheetah his "prizes": wooden blocks as special winning shoes, a huge sundae after a pie-eating race, a balloon bouquet, and an oversized crown that slips over his eyes—all designed to slow him down in the ultimate race. When the little cats do indeed win the Big Race, they realize winning is not everything and award Cheetah the medal he thinks he won. Compassion and friendship carry the day! Shea makes great use of lots of white space, allowing the eye to focus on the cheetah's and cats' faces and movements. He uses bold bright colors on slightly textured art, ramping up the energy with the vivid colors and active figures bounding across the pages. Color-coded text adds to the fun. Observant readers may predict some of the action, but the ending will surprise all and could lead to a good discussion about winning, friendship, and understanding. The only disappointment here is that cheetah learns nothing from the day and will continue with his arrogant ways. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Cheetah always has to win. On the title page, readers see him looking in the mirror flexing his muscles. Meanwhile his two kitten friends have something up their furry sleeves as their kyuuto shushing faces reveal. In color-coded dialogue, they announce (their colors intertwined) that it is the day of the big race. The retro artwork is kid-friendly, flat with textures as if done in crayon, with lots of little motion lines, and a palette of mostly orange and blue, all creating a flow of action. The two kittens know Cheetah oh so well, and entertain themselves (at his expense) before the big race by sponsoring various other competitions, all contrived to slow him down. They use a mixture of cunning and flattery, awarding Cheetah with such prizes as wooden platforms they call winner shoes. The pacing is energetic and lively-untethered by any setting and formulated for those young listeners who would rather be tearing across the yard than sitting and reading. Written for those who must endure the antics of younger ones who pout and cry if they lose, this title is an apt choice to open a discussion about dealing compassionately with someone who always has a competitive edge.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Loudmouth speedster Cheetah is sure that race day will be a walkover, but two clever little cats have other ideas. Much like Shea's little red roaring dinosaur (Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, 2008, etc.), for all that he's bigger than anyone and kitted out in a tracksuit, Cheetah obnoxiously announces at the outset that he's winning every race. Not only do his jokes fall flat--"Oh boy! If you guys had pajamas, I would be them! Because I'm the cat's pajamas--get it? Never mind"--but so does he after scarfing down five pies in a preliminary pie-eating "race" and the huge sundae that his smiling feline competitors present as a reward; they also award him boxes for his feet and a too-big crown to cover his eyes as "prizes" in other events before the main race. Shea cranks up the energy with loud hues and figures that bound across broad expanses of white surrounded by emphatic bursts of multicolored text. He brings this variant on a trickster tale (most recently retold in Nathan Kumar Scott's The Great Race, illustrated by Jagdish Chitara, 2012) to an unexpected close: Rather than glory in crushing Cheetah's self-esteem, the cats give him their first-place medals and assure him that yes, indeed, he won that race too. A high-volume victory for compassion. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061730832
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/19/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 524,681
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.64 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Shea

Bob Shea is the author of Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith. He is also the author and illustrator of I'm a Shark; Oh, Daddy!; Race You to Bed; New Socks; and the wildly popular Dinosaur vs. series. Bob lives in Connecticut with his family. He can eat way more pie than Cheetah.

Bob Shea is the author of Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith. He is also the author and illustrator of I'm a Shark; Oh, Daddy!; Race You to Bed; New Socks; and the wildly popular Dinosaur vs. series. Bob lives in Connecticut with his family. He can eat way more pie than Cheetah.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2014

    This book is fantastic!  It has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek sens

    This book is fantastic!  It has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and illustrations that are simple, colorful, and expressive.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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