A modern retelling of the Aesop classic. (Spoiler alert: slow but steady again wins the race.)
Hare leaps high as he speeds through the tall grass, stopping long enough for the narrator to present a profile of its attributes. “Leapus swifticus” has “extra twitchy” whiskers, hind legs “coiled like springs,” and so on. And “he has NEVER been known to resist a carrot.” His opponent, “Slow and steadicus,” is barely distinguishable from a rock, “but she will always do her best.” When the blue rooster crows, the race is on. The finish line is on the farm, right next to the big pink barn. “I’m so fast, I fly past,” Hare sings, to which Tortoise replies, “I may be slow, but watch me go.” The race proceeds according to form, until Hare reaches the carrot field. Tortoise is miles behind, so Hare figures he has time for “a few nibbles…and a tiny nap.” Of course the nap lengthens, and Hare’s lead shortens. Tortoise tiptoes through the carrot field, and by the time hare wakes up, it’s too late. A gracious winner, Tortoise suggests another race, to the lettuce patch. Murray’s storytelling and digital pictures are both balanced and buoyant. The story reads as though it’s a book-format Looney Tunes short, from paintings that mimic freeze frames to a sports-commentator voice.
Clever and appealing. (Picture book. 3-6)