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THE RACE OF TOAD AND DEER by Pat Mora

THE RACE OF TOAD AND DEER

By Pat Mora (Author) , Domi (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-88899-434-6
Publisher: Groundwood

The familiar story of the race between the hare and the tortoise appears here in a Guatemalan version that the author heard from a guide at the Mayan ruins of Tikal. In this case, the race is between Venado, an arrogant and boastful deer, and Sapo, a clever toad with lots of friends, who, predictably, slowly and steadily wins the race. Domi’s (The Night the Moon Fell, not reviewed, etc.) watercolors are luminous and childlike, immersing the pages in gorgeous blends of colors. As always, Mora is a master at mingling Spanish words with the English in ways that make their meanings perfectly clear. What is not so clear is exactly how Sapo manages to outrun Venado, even with the help of his friends’ calls that confuse the proud deer. Nevertheless, this is a lovely title that, with its emphasis on the importance of cleverness, friendship, and cooperation, will be interesting to compare with other versions of the tale. (Picture book/folktale. 3-7)