THE BIG MILE RACE by Leonard Kessler


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The animal bunch from Kessler's Super Bowl (1980) is back for a big mile race, with Frog determined to enter though Duck tells him disdainfully ""You can't run,"" and with chicken supporting his plan to hop through the race. (""Maybe I can't win. But I am going to hop, hop to the finish line,"" Frog responds later, to Duck's continued heckling.) Owl, who acts the big boss but knows her stuff, organizes the training, which culminates in a spaghetti dinner for ""extra energy"" the night before the race. On the big day, Goose refuses to go along with Owl's ""Everybody warm up""--and pays the price by losing her early lead and then dropping out with a cramp. ""Next time I will warm up before the race,"" she concedes to chicken. After a smidgin of suspense--with spectators shouting ""Here they come,"" ""Who is first,"" and ""Here comes the winner!""--dog comes in first, with chicken second; after all the others cross the line, Frog hops over. ""We lost too,"" say Duck and Chicken as they help him up. ""But we finished,"" Frog puts in. The whole event is just a little too scattered and straggly to rouse much spectator enthusiasm--but the messages are impeccable, the delivery is good-natured, and there's a little humor in Kessler's loose, cheerful drawings.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1983
Publisher: Greenwillow