THE BIG RACE by Shirley Glaser


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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The creators of the overdressed Alphazeds (2003) follow up with a less fussy, but uninspired remake of the perennially popular “Tortoise and the Hare.” This time, legendary designer Milton sends Harry Hare scuttling around the world to each continent (the route is mapped out on the endpapers), past simply composed landscapes on which recognizable sights or landmarks—from leaping kangaroos, Chinese kites and Brazilian samba dancers to the leaning tower of Pisa and the Statue of Liberty—are visible. It’s all about sightseeing; Harry’s rival, Tommy Tortoise, barely even puts in an appearance, and the actual point of the original fable has been lost. As the pages are split lengthwise into two frames running in opposite directions, signs on the first and last pages invite viewers to keep Harry Hare’s journey going by turning the volume over. Unlike the similar conceit in Ann Jonas’s Round Trip (1983), however, Glaser creates no connection between the top and bottom scenes—and the round-the-world idea has been better done too, in Carolyn Repchuk’s The Race, illus by Alison Jay (2002). For collectors of celebrity crossovers. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-1821-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2005