Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Bob Shea
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Two kittens challenge the normally dominant Cheetah to a race. To give themselves a chance at winning, they slyly design pre-race contests to slow Cheetah down. Cheetah enters the race with boxes on his feet, a belly full of ice cream, a knit sweater, and a bouquet of balloons tied to his hands, and a crown to cover his eyes. The kittens easily win, but Cheetah still thinks he is the victor. They kindly do not disagree and celebrate their friend even though he is overconfident.
In this twist on the fable The Tortoise and The Hare, the small but cunning are shown to emerge on top. The ultimate lesson is not about outsmarting someone, but accepting and loving them despite their flaws. Kids and adults can use a reminder that friendship, more than winning, is important. The cute story is matched with bright, colorful illustrations that will make reading the book a playful experience for parent and child.