From the Publisher
"In true storytelling fashion, Jones extends this usually succinct fable into a full-length picture-book presentation . . . The cluttered pen-and-ink watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the text, offering young listeners much to ponder." Booklist, ALA
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An exceptional retelling of Aesop's classic race. Ages 4-8. (March)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Designed for beginning readers, this "Ready-to-Read" book uses simple, repetitive language and colorful, witty illustrations to recount the popular tale about the race between a slow, steady turtle and a fast, boastful rabbit. This predictable story not only introduces youngsters to clever characters and a funny plot, but it also teaches a valuable lesson about perseverance.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this somewhat updated version of the traditional "Tortoise and the Hare" story, a boastful hare jogs out one morning in gym shorts, sweat-band and athletic shoes, while Tortoise pores over the sports section of the Forest Daily and decides that "Hare really is becoming a little too confident for his own good." This longer, more detailed retelling presents the same basic story and moral, although the use of cut-out peepholes on every other page provides a hint of what comes next. The sketchy, colored illustrations like the text, are quite detailed.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3Jones applies the same peek-hole format she used in This Old Man (1990) and The Cat Sat on the Mat (1994, both Houghton) to her version of this classic fable. Here, the die-cut holes are more of an ornamental gimmick than an integral part of the book. The visual strength lies in the colorful line-and-wash paintings. The story can easily be told through the playful illustrations. Each spread is filled with humorous details that will keep young readers coming back for another look. The text, like the pictures, embellishes the basic story. This is not just a contest between the tortoise and an ordinary hare; this hare, possibly the "forest's first Olympic champion," is frequently featured in the sport's pages. Other animals play significant roles in the race. Purists may find that the extras detract from the story's action and moral, while fans of folklore updates will appreciate the contemporary humor. Those children who are already familiar with the original fable should have fun with this version. Janet Stevens's The Tortoise and the Hare (Holiday, 1984) is another amusing, modern, but more straightforward, version.Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
The hare is the biggest braggart in the forest. He exercises every day, he can outrun anyone, and everyone's just plain sick of him. When he rashly challenges the tortoise to a race, the tortoise decides to teach him a lesson.
The old fable is spiced up with psychological details, and tied into a bustling social setting. The airy watercolor-and-ink illustrations look disheveled, and readers will need time to pore over the motley variety of forest creatures. The animals are all elaborately dressedsome in running gear or jeans and sweaters, others in Victorian clothes or the outfits of French peasants. A peephole in the middle of every other pagethrough which readers see the central character in the next or the previous illustrationadds to the excitement. Jones (Hickory Dickory Dock, 1992, etc.) provides a sophisticated orchestration of a simple tune.