Race of Toad and Deer

Overview


An arrogant deer who is always boasting about his speed and strength is finally challenged to a race by a wily toad. All the jungle’s inhabitants — the jaguar, the toucan, the tapir, and the armadillo — gather to watch this unlikely competition. But with the help of his friends, the toad manages to defeat his adversary, proving the value of brains over brawn. Domi, an artist from Mexico, brings her signature brilliant palette and charming humor to the illustrations. ...
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Overview


An arrogant deer who is always boasting about his speed and strength is finally challenged to a race by a wily toad. All the jungle’s inhabitants — the jaguar, the toucan, the tapir, and the armadillo — gather to watch this unlikely competition. But with the help of his friends, the toad manages to defeat his adversary, proving the value of brains over brawn. Domi, an artist from Mexico, brings her signature brilliant palette and charming humor to the illustrations.

With the help of his friends, Tio Sapo, the toad, defeats the overconfident Tio Venado, the deer, in a race.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this Guatemalan variation on the tortoise-and-hare fable, the laurels go not to virtuous persistence but to crafty teamwork. When Venado, an overconfident deer, challenges the mischievous toad Sapo to a running contest, Sapo enlists the help of his friends. Unbeknown to Venado, toads hide along the race course. As Venado springs ahead, he goads Sapo by calling back, ``Adelante, To Sapo, forward!'' But each call is mysteriously answered by a Sapo-like voice ahead: ``Adelante, To Venado, forward!'' Utterly disoriented, Venado races faster and faster, wearing himself out before he reaches the finish. Lightly peppered with Spanish expressions, Mora's The Desert Is My Mother text is organically bicultural. But Sapo's crucial scheme is nearly buried in an encyclopedic cast of rainforest characters, confusing the focus of the story. First-time illustrator Brooks, who spent much of her youth in Guatemala, smooths over the busy text with bold folk paintings. Flat, rounded compositions absorb the heat of her quasi-electric palette, containing the motion within an festive, well-modulated tempo. Ages 2-6. Sept.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
This folktale from Guatemala is reminiscent of the tortoise and the hare stories we know. By strategically placing other toads along the race route and having them call to the deer, Sapo has the deer Venado believing that Sapo is ahead of him in the race. This causes Venado to overexert in an attempt to catch up to Sapo, and ultimately become exhausted. All the while, Sapo plods slowly along the racecourse, steadily hopping behind the deer. At the end of the race, he is able to pass the worn-out Venado and thank all his toad friends for their help in winning the race. Brooks' simple, yet bold, illustrations convey a warmth and playfulness to this folktale.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-With one glance at Moses's folk paintings, adult audiences will immediately make the connection to his great-grandmother, Anna Mary Robertson-Grandma Moses. His landscapes depicting 19th-century America are lovely panoramas with rosy sunsets, blossoming orchards, and pointillist snowstorms. The scenes with multiple figures are weaker, particularly the spread with John Chapman and his half sister's family of 13; Moses's idiosyncrasies of scale (among people of different ages and between figures and the background) are more apparent. Nevertheless, the artist's style is well suited to his subject-the life story of the humble, homespun planter. With its reverent tone and folk art, it is most like Reeve Lindbergh's Johnny Appleseed (Little, Brown, 1993), although Moses's text is prose, and its length makes it more appropriate for older readers. The difficulty in distinguishing between fact and fiction is dealt with through introductory phrases, such as: "It's awfully hard to know which stories are true-" and "Just maybe-." Much information is imparted, from Chapman's childhood losses, heavenly vision, and relationship to Native Americans to stories about his frolicking with bear cubs and floating his canoe down the river on an ice chunk. A brief bibliography and an author's note are appended. A worthy addition.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1This retelling of a Guatemalan folktale is reminiscent of ``The Tortoise and the Hare.'' Here, the deer, To Venado, challenges the toad, To Sapo, to a race. Clever Sapo enlists the aid of his toad friends, and wins. Native animals such as toucans, spider monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars line the purple path to watch as Venado is tricked into defeat. With the addition of these many South American beasts as well as of italicized Spanish words, the text works hard to make this book a cross-cultural experience. Stylized paintings use fanciful opaque colors and decorative patterns to give the story zesty life. The simplified cartoonlike animals parading across the double-page spreads are fun but may leave a child questioning their true identity. The toucan himself is colored differently on each appearance. While the book is visually attractive, it falls short of providing a rich adventure.Martha Topol, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI
Lauren Peterson
In this lively Guatemalan version of the brains-over-brawn theme, a team of resourceful toads outsmart the swiftest deer in the jungle. When powerful Venado the deer challenges Sapo the toad to a race, Sapo's toad friends help their buddy trick the boastful deer by hiding out along the race path and leaping in front of Venado as he passes. Hearing each Sapo impersonator call back to him, Venado races faster and faster in an attempt to keep up, only to see the real Sapo pass him by as he staggers toward the finish. The Guatemalan jungle setting comes to life through eye-catching illustrations characterized by bold colors and flat outlined shapes. A nice addition to any folktale collection, particularly one lacking quality children's literature from Central American cultures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888994349
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.59 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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