Tortoise Races Home

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Using large-font type, these traditional tales contain plot twists, brightly colored illustrations, and slapstick humor. In Tortoise, the title character challenges Rabbit, Squirrel, and Mouse to race home, and they laughingly accept. Rabbit plans to run, Squirrel will swing through the trees, and Mouse will roll down a hill, but Tortoise wins by entering his shell ("I am home already"). In Princess the king offers a bag of gold to whoever can make his daughter laugh. The clown and the magician try, but it is the boy with two monkeys who is successful when one creature pulls off the king's crown and another replaces it with a banana peel. Written in free verse, Over the Moon! features a cow who tries to clear the full Moon with a cat along for the ride; the friends succeed when they instead jump a reflection in a puddle near the dish and the spoon. Rooster's Alarm features a sheep who cries "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" a cat who says "Baaa!" and more, and readers discover that "The noises were wrong all around the farm, because the rooster forgot to set his alarm!" The books' raucous appeal contrasts with Margaret Hillert's quieter retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, The Magic Beans, and The Three Goats (all Norwood House, 2006), which are set on smaller pages with a smaller font, and Harriet Ziefert's straightforward The Little Red Hen and The Teeny Tiny Woman (both Viking, 1995).—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Once again there is a bit of a variation on a traditional story. In this case it is a very old one about the race between a tortoise and the hare, but there are more characters in this race to get home after a day of playing. The hare really has a laugh because he knows that he is speedy. Squirrel and mouse are also very sure that they can beat the tortoise, but the last laugh is on them since the tortoise just pulls into his shell and announces that he is "home." The closing pages contain puzzle pictures to put the story in the correct sequence and the next page asks kids to select the words that describe the tortoise and the other animals. These words seem to be at a level above that of the main text. The colored-pencil illustrations show quite a bit of detail, such as the hair on the animals, swirls on the tortoise's back, and blades of grass. The last page offers information to adults about using the "Tadpole" early readers and lists other titles as does the back cover. This book is identified as "Guided reading D." Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778739029
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: Tadpoles
  • Pages: 21
  • Sales rank: 1,002,375
  • Age range: 5 years
  • Lexile: 170L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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