The Tortoise or the Hare
. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers . NY ,
PS3563.O8749 T6 2010 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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About seven years earlier, Toni and Slade Morrison did three books of fables for Scribner's, all beginning with the question Who's Got Game? Their artist in all three of those was Pascal LeMaitre. Now here is a new offering with a different artist and publisher. Jimi Hare cannot help himself. He is fast! He is known as a show-off and travels alone. Jamey Tortoise cannot help himself in a different way: he is smarter than everyone else. He studies alone. The newspaper announces a contest, a race whose winner gets a golden crown. Jimi and Jamey both sign up. Jamey calls the newspaper and asks which story interests the paper more: the winner who loses or the loser who wins. The fox reporter loves both stories and says so. Jimi asks the reporter what gets more attention: the largest crowd and or the loudest cheers. The answer is the same. When the race starts, Jamey takes off fast and Jimi goes straight to the bus stop. During the day he travels on bus, train, boat, and plane. Jimi entertains the crowd all day with stunts. Jimi came in first, Jamey second. (There seem to be only these two contestants.) Since the reporter knew the story of the tortoise and hare, she had expected the opposite. So her headline was Winner loses! Loser wins! Jimi says he won because he has the crown. Jamey says he won because he has the headline. The last page shows them shaking hands and declares It's not the race. It's not who wins. It's when the runners become good friends. This is a lively and engaging presentation, if a bit far-fetched.