Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8
Recommended For: All Ages
Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
Nearly wordless, this lively depiction of one of Aesop’s most famous fables starts right away on the front endpapers as the hare bounds over hills and the tortoise snoozes on an old stump. Knocking the tortoise off his stump, the hare issues the challenge. Neighboring animals join in the fun to cheer them on, and the race begins.
Pinkney’s skill in capturing movement in his art enlivens this tale on every page. Bees swarm, frogs jump, and the animals cheer on the tortoise. Pinkney’s use of palette is particularly striking; the spots of blue and red both in the scanty text and in the tortoise’s accessories highlight the real hero of the story, even as the hare’s clothing blends into the surroundings.
Young readers will enjoy studying the details that are realistic as much as they will enjoy Pinkney’s added touches of clothing, a stopwatch, and the racing flag in his delightful, complex paintings. Seasoned readers will enjoy discovering more depth in this fable as the characters are fleshed out. Don’t miss the final endpapers showing the tortoise’s victory dance! And remember, slow and steady wins the race: we, too, are called to persevere in our own race.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Categories: Picture Books, Animal Stories, Character Values, Fairy and Folk Tales
*Indicates starred review
cover image from amazon