. Candlewick Press . Somerville, MA
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John Birmingham did the art for "The Extraordinary Tug-of-War" in 1968. That version used a text by Letta Schatz. Now he does his own text with the same illustrations he did then. This is a large-format (11½" x 9¼") landscape book. Hippopotamus and elephant teased the little hare. Hare finally had enough and went first to the elephant to propose a tug-of-war. He gave elephant a rope and directed him to wait till he felt a tug, and then he should pull Hare then did the same with hippopotamus. Hare then hid between the two and tugged. The two gigantic animals pulled all day and all night long. Hare then snuck up on each to ask if he wanted to yield. Each soon started to relent with comments like "You are stronger than I thought." After a while, the two large animals pulled close enough to see each other. Angrily, they charged around trying to find and to punish hare. He was already far away, having proved that though he was not as strong as either, he was much more clever. This is a nicely executed book. The color of the art sometimes making reading the text difficult.