Berkes combines the familiar fable with a look at measurement.
The two don’t always mix well. Henry Hare’s a braggart who’s always putting down Tess Tortoise, boasting that he can make it to the top of a hill before Tess can even reach the bottom. And just how far is that? “1,760 yards,” pedant Oliver Owl says. Freddy Frog restates it for everybody’s benefit: “That’s a whole mile!” “Or 5,280 feet. Tess could never do it!” gloats Henry. As the race gets underway, Henry is distracted by some butterflies at the one-eighth mark, lunch at the half-mile post, and a nap at the three-quarter point. Readers all know how the story ends: “Henry admitted in disgrace that slow and steady won the race!” Morrison’s Henry looks bedraggled and sad at the finish line, ears drooping, eyes shifting to gaze at the winner. Her artwork is stiff but realistic, save for occasional anthropomorphized items (a whistle, binoculars, a GPS) and the fact that animals that are usually predator and prey are friendly here. The "For Creative Minds" section in the backmatter provides readers with units of measurement and gives them an opportunity to tell what units they would use to measure 15 distances, practice comparisons, and put the animals from the story in order from largest to smallest.
A didactic mix of a folk tale and measurement. (Math picture book/folk tale. 4-8)