A classic reenvisioned and retold by Bernadette Watts—one of Europe’s most recognized and beloved fairy-tale artists! When Tortoise says to Hare, “I bet I can beat you in a running race!” everyone laughs. Tortoise puts one foot in front of the next. Hare stops to nibble carrot tops and cabbages. . . . Who will have the last laugh? “The Hare and the Tortoise” has been a favorite with generations of children around the world. Bernadette Watts’s lovable animals and sumptuous settings bring great warmth and charm to this timeless tale. Little listeners will celebrate anew with all the animals at the finish line!
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Bernadette Wattshas illustrated many well-reviewed books for children. She illustrates classic fairy tales, such as “The Three Little Pigs,” and writes original stories, including “Will You Be My Friend.” Watts created her first picture book under the infFrom School Library Journal:
PreS-Gr 2—Watts's elaborate detail draws out the familiar story into a full-fledged picture book with few changes to the basic tale. After picnicking under a tree in a meadow, the animals "enjoyed games and races," prompting Tortoise to challenge Hare to a circular running race beginning and ending at the picnic tree. Hare takes the lead, stopping at a cottage garden to stuff himself with some tasty vegetables and fallen apples, followed up with a long drink at a nearby stream, a conversation with his friend Mr. Fox, and a rest under a sweet-smelling honeysuckle hedge. When Hare awakens to the sound of cheering animals, he races across the meadow to find that Tortoise has already won. Leaving just enough white space to soothe the eyes, Watts has filled much of each page with finely detailed meadow grasses, bushes, trees, and wildflowers and an assortment of dear, tiny animals, birds, and insects and their homes for children to find and treasure. The story begins with a morning scene featuring a beaming yellow sun and ends with a slumbering slice of the moon in a starry nighttime sky. Picnic scenes show cakes, cupcakes, and a tea set; squirrel and mole playing tennis; hedgehog reading a picture book to little hedgehog, rabbit, and bird. Tiny clothes dry on a clothesline, and mouse holds a parasol to avoid the sun's rays. VERDICT A pleasant retelling, best shared one-on-one.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH
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