Tag Archive: racing


tortoise and the hare

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

Wow.  This companion book to Pinkney’s Caldecott Medal winning The Lion & the Mouse is another outstanding book.  Set in the deserts of the Southwest, the story has all sorts of animals gathered to watch the race, including badgers, lynx, mice, and vultures.  All of them wear at least one piece of clothing, from hats to bandanas to pants.  As the pages of the book turn, readers will get to see how each of the animals approaches the race, from the frenzy and then sloth of the hare to the steadiness of the tortoise.  Readers will get a sense of the slowness also from the words on the page that every so tantalizingly make out phrases as the pages turn. 

Told in few words, the book is all about the illustrations which are magnificent.  Filled with tiny details to linger over, each illustration is beautifully composed and helps move the story forward.  Pinkney stays true to the classic tale, not changing any of the storyline.  He manages to take stories that can become overly wordy and with images alone tell their story and make them appropriate and thrilling for a young audience.  I will always see his illustrations when I hear this story.  That is talent!

Quite simply, this is another masterpiece by Pinkney.  A must-have book for every library serving preschoolers.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Race You to Bed

Race You to Bed by Bob Shea

Shea returns with another silly, zany picture book.  Readers race to bed with a white, fluffy bunny as he runs uphill, drops downhill, makes lots of noise, and escapes a wide variety of traps and troubles.  Young readers will be laughing aloud at the manic rhymes, fast pace, and pure silliness of this book.  Perfect for children who don’t want to go to bed and would much rather be running around.  The ending is charming and provides the perfect button to the book. 

Shea excels here at writing verse that is strong, fast and funny.  It is also beautifully short which adds to the fast pace and will keep young listeners very happy.  Make sure that you keep control of the pace as you read, because the illustrations offer a lot of the humor and are worth slowing down for.  The illustrations are done in Shea’s trademark simplicity that has a great graphic quality to it.

Perfection for bedtime or pajama story times, this book is pure fun.  Race you to see who can read it next!  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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