The Hare and the Tortoise: A Fable from Aesop Retold & Illustrated by Helen Ward
. The Millbrook Press . Brookfield, CT ,
PZ8.2.W285 Har 1999 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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This is a sideways (landscape) book of considerable artistic appeal. The color work is excellent. A new emphasis in this work lies on all the other animals involved. The inciting incident happens when the careless hare trips over the tortoise and tumbles into a thorny bush. The noise attracts a crowd. The hare insults the tortoise, who says nothing in return except to challenge him to a race. It is when the hare is leaping from stone to stone across the river that he finds the tortoise rowing across more easily. Next the hare finds himself moving through a forest (of larger animals' legs) that leaves him scratched and tired when he reaches its other side. So he decides to take a nap. The hare awakens, checks for the tortoise (who is not in sight), and takes time for a long lunch. The hare crosses the finish line too late but is running too fast to stop and falls into an even thornier bush than before. But this time he said nothing. The last few pages are a key to the various animals pictured along the way. Well done!