In the Morrisons' updated version of this Aesop's fable, Jimi Hare and Jamey Tortoise try to spin their story with the media before the race. "But what story pleases your readers the most," Jamey asks a reporter, "the winner who loses or the loser who wins?" The reporter, an exuberant fox in a party dress, responds, "Oh, they're both important.... But for overall satisfaction, it's when the winner loses." After all the hype, the ending is remarkably anticlimactic—unlike in the original, Jimi comes in first, while Jamey plods in second. The traditional message about perseverance is lost to a murky idea about gaming the system to get what you want: the crown for Jimi, the headline for Jamey. Although the animals are portrayed as parallel misfits—outcast for their quick moves and quick mind—and would seem ideal companions, that development is left to a throwaway final scene. "It's not who wins," the authors conclude. "It's when the runners become good friends." The oil paintings by Cepeda (who illustrated the Morrisons' Peeny Butter Fudge) vibrate with life and color, providing much of the story's energy. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/23/2010 Release date: 09/01/2010 Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-3422-9
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-3962-7
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.