Reviews for Tortoise and the Jackrabbit
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
In a clever retelling of the fable, Tortoise, a calmly confident old woman, challenges Jackrabbit, an overly confident lad, to a race across the American southwestern desert. The race passes by an assortment of desert plants and animals; regrettably, the nature lesson and pronunciation guides interrupt the flow of the story. Illustrations portray the desert fauna as curious, wide-eyed townsfolk. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1994 November #1
As in their The Three Little Javelinas, Lowell and Harris revivify a timeworn tale with a Southwestern setting and a dash of wit. The tortoise here is a bespectacled, parasol-toting marm. Her cocky rival-a singing (``Long, low, LEAP, ho!'') jackrabbit-springs into the air to flaunt his speed. ``Tortoise looked patiently up at him with her old, old eyes. `Let's race,' she said.'' A jumble of directional signs tucked under his wing, Roadrunner marks the course through a desert filled with the appropriate flora and fauna. Indeed, with repeated readings, the safari-style ecological subtext may overtake the amusement of the race itself. Precise and punchy, Lowell's undated prose turns hip alongside Harris's comical characterizations. The race ends with an endearing laugh at Tortoise eating her victory bouquet; the book ends with an author's note concerning the current threats to desert creatures. A merry blend of play, allegory and environmentalism. Ages 3-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 1995 February
K-Gr 3?Lowell gives the familiar fable the same Southwestern spin she gave ``The Three Little Pigs'' in The Three Little Javelinas (Northland, 1992). Tortoise challenges Jackrabbit to a race across the desert; they pass saguaro cacti and mesquite trees, purple sand verbena and desert dandelions, and encounter creatures such as Elf Owl, Scorpion, Tarantula, and Javelina. The spare text is lively and begs to be read aloud. Pronunciation is given in parentheses after unfamiliar words, and while this is helpful, the placement is a little distracting. A note about endangered wildlife of the desert is appended. Harris's acrylic-and-watercolor paintings, reminiscent of Wallace Tripp's work, are full of humor and energy. Tortoise is a staid, elderly female with a hat, gloves, reticule, and lace-edged anklets. Jackrabbit sports green suspenders over a red plaid shirt that covers a slight paunch. The artist uses a range of muted colors that evokes the dry beauty of the area. Even libraries that already own collections of Aesop's fables or Janet Stevens's The Tortoise and the Hare (Holiday, 1984) will want to consider this version for its sprightly, fresh approach.?Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA