cover image The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare

The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare

Kristyn Crow, illus. by Christina Forshay. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-6911-5

In this jumped-up version of the fable, Hare is a hip city-dweller in shades and a tight jacket ("He was zippy, sometimes lippy,/ takin' taxis everywhere"), while Tortoise is a country bumpkin with peace signs all over his shell ("He was quite the mellow fellow/ chillin' out beside the pool"). When the two collide at a "happenin' county fair," they decide to race as part of the festivities. Forshay's (Frog and Pig) action-packed spreads depict dilly-dallying Hare as he paints a self-portrait and even performs a rock concert, dressed in Elvis-style threads. Golden hues and smudged outlines temper the animals' waxy veneer, while hallucinogenic moir%C3%A9 backgrounds amplify Hare's panic once he realizes that he's underestimated his competition. Despite some awkward phrasing ("Then he danced/ and he pranced/ till the crowd became entranced%E2%80%94/ as he rocked/ while he squawked/ making everybody shocked!"), Crow (Cool Daddy Rat) is mostly faithful to her metric rules. The lanky urbanite's bravado and the hoppy pace should insure that this retelling earns some read-aloud time. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (Mar.)