The Tortoise and the Hare Narrated by the Silly but Truthful Tortoise
. Capstone: Picture Window Books . North Mankato, MN
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What a creative concept! The original fable is again told in one page. Then Balderdash the tortoise, "Dash" for short, declares that the fable as told is true but leaves out "all the good stuff" -- especially, apparently, that this race gave Dash a start as a comedian. My, we are into creative new territory here! A first surprise in Dash's narration is that Jiffy the hare was so slow that he could not keep up with the other hares. Jiffy's consequent teasing of Dash "made me what I am," for Dash learned to "find the funny." In the race, Dash, already outdistanced, began to make jokes that the onlooking animals loved. Even Jiffy was watching and admiring Dash's antics. Near the end of the race, Jiffy was found snoring by the side of the path. A fake sneeze near the finish line woke Jiffy up, but Dash still won. Dash actually got Jiffy to start laughing, and soon Jiffy was rolling around laughing hard. Jiffy had an "aha!" moment and put a paw on Dash's shell: "Sorry I acted like such a jerk. You were really great out there, Dash." Jiffy and Dash became partners in comedy: "Coming soon to a forest near you: The Jiffy and Dash Show!" "Sure, slow and steady might win the race. But slow and funny will win you the laughs!" The two-page segments of this 24-page booklet are well illustrated, though perhaps not with the eye to detail of the other three booklets in the series. A good sample might be the three different illustrations on 14-15 showing Dash pretending to trip, wiping sweat off his face, and slowly peeping out from his shell.