PreS-Gr 1 Elliot's birthday present from Grandpa is a long-awaited ``big wheel'' bike. Now Elliot can join in the Saturday races around the park, and maybe even beat Jimmy and the other big boys. But on the day of the race, Elliot ties for last place, and even Grandpa's consoling words``I'm proud of you for trying hard''fail to lift his disappointment. Grandpa doesn't give up easily, though; he presents Elliot with a homemade winner's badge to show that winners don't necessarily have to come in first. This is a familiar lesson, perhaps trite, but it bears repeating. The relationship between Elliot and Grandpa is deftly portrayed through the illustrations even more so than the text; other characters are minimal and serve merely as background. McCully has skillfully caught facial expressions as well as the frantic pace of the race, while Thomas demonstrates that she is familiar with all the nuances of neighborhood life. Preschoolers will enjoy this addition to story hour, and older listeners will be able to appreciate the notion that winning isn't everything.Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Lib . , Ill.