THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE RACE AGAIN

Glass’s scenes of disheveled-looking animals in rumpled clothing create an appropriately comic setting for this Aesopian sequel. As Hare is subject to continual dissing from Pete R. Rabbit, lucky Rabbit Foote, Rabbit E. Lee and others for losing a race to a tortoise, and retiring, peace-loving Tortoise is discovering that being voted “Most Admired Reptile” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, the two agree to a rematch. Rightly suspecting that even the second time around, Hare won’t be able to stay on task, Tortoise concocts a motorized bunny suit, which he dons as soon as he’s passed his snoozing opponent and zooms across the finish line. Later, groggily accepting congratulations for a win that he doesn’t quite remember, Hare declares himself a racing machine, coming closer to the truth than he supposes. Readers who enjoy such remakes of the original as Margery Cuyler’s Road Signs: A Harey Race with a Tortoise (2000), illustrated by Steve Haskamp, or Caroline Repchuk’s The Race (2001), illustrated by Alison Jay, will line up for this amusing spin-off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8234-1867-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DIARY OF A SPIDER

The wriggly narrator of Diary of a Worm (2003) puts in occasional appearances, but it’s his arachnid buddy who takes center stage here, with terse, tongue-in-cheek comments on his likes (his close friend Fly, Charlotte’s Web), his dislikes (vacuums, people with big feet), nervous encounters with a huge Daddy Longlegs, his extended family—which includes a Grandpa more than willing to share hard-won wisdom (The secret to a long, happy life: “Never fall asleep in a shoe.”)—and mishaps both at spider school and on the human playground. Bliss endows his garden-dwellers with faces and the odd hat or other accessory, and creates cozy webs or burrows colorfully decorated with corks, scraps, plastic toys and other human detritus. Spider closes with the notion that we could all get along, “just like me and Fly,” if we but got to know one another. Once again, brilliantly hilarious. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-000153-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more