From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-This delightful folktale closely resembles Aesop's "The Tortoise and the Hare." A sweet-looking turtle lives contentedly in a beautiful pond until one spring she emerges from hibernation and discovers that another creature has overrun her domain. Beaver's dam and lodge have changed the pond's ambience very much indeed, but Turtle benevolently offers to share her home with the newcomer. However, impudent Beaver scoffs at the invitation and challenges her to a race. Word spreads throughout the forest and all the animals gather to witness the improbable spectacle. At the outset of the competition, Turtle sinks her teeth into Beaver's broad tail, and the pain eventually causes him to flip it in such a way that she is hurled across the finish line in first place. Humiliated, he leaves for another pond, and when his new home's terrapin resident agrees to share, he gratefully acquiesces. This appealing variant of the time-honored, cross-cultural tale conveys the need for cooperation, perseverance, and humility within group settings. Children will be so involved in the storytelling that they'll absorb these lessons effortlessly. Done in pen and ink, gouache, and pastel, the cheerful artwork is a wonderful match for this well-told tale.Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1-3. A clever twist and a final bit of psychological realism give this variant on a Seneca Indian "Tortoise and Hare" tale unusually broad audience appeal. Little Turtle wakes from her winter sleep to find that her beloved pond has been taken over by an aggressive beaver, who proposes a race to see who stays and who goes. The result seems inevitable. However, at "GO!" Turtle latches on to Beaver's tail and hitches a ride. As the end of the race approaches, Turtle chomps down on the tail, and Beaver's reflexive twitch flips Turtle over the finish line first. When Turtle magnanimously offers to share the pond, Beaver swims away--but instead of commandeering another turtle's pond, he humbly asks its resident whether he can stay. A chorus of cheering animal spectators invites audience participation, and there are plenty of visual cues to the contestants' emotional states in the illustrators' bright, flowing scenes. A natural candidate for reading aloud, and for follow-up discussions, too. A source note is appended. John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved