Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Alison Ritchie
Illustrator: Nahta Noj
This book presents the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare. When the prideful hare wants to race somebody, the old and humble tortoise accepts his challenge. The hare, thinking he can outrun the tortoise any day, decides to take it easy during the face, munching on some food and falling asleep for a nap. When he wakes up, he realizes that the tortoise, who had been slow and steady the whole time, has made it to the finish line before him. Ashamed of his rudeness, the hare decides never to make fun of anybody again.
Though the Tortoise and the Hare is a good story to know and own, this particular version isn’t very memorable. It holds true to the original story, but the personalities of the characters don’t notably shine through, either in the text or in the illustrations. However, the text itself is placed on the pages in fun and interesting ways, and words that may be new to children are presented in a font that hints at their meaning, which is definitely a bonus. The illustrations are colorful and sharp but somewhat abstract, and even though the peek-through windows and flaps are sure to keep children more entertained than with a regular book, they weren’t particularly creative or exciting. The best part of the book, as with many of Aesop’s fables, is the message it contains, lessons like “slow and steady wins the race” and “pride precedes the fall.” Overall, this is a wonderful story that’s presented in a way that some may enjoy whereas others not so much.