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*The Great Race* by Kevin O'Malley
Also written and/or illustrated by Kevin O'Malley:

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
The Great Race
by Kevin O'Malley
Ages 4-8 32 pages Walker Books June 2011 Hardcover    

Kevin O’Malley has fun with the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare” in this humorous picture book. Nate Tortoise is tired of hearing Lever Lapin brag about how fast he is. Finally, Nate has had enough and challenges his much faster adversary to a race.

Naturally, there is no way physically that Lever Lapin can lose this contest but, of course, he does. What does the conceited hare in? His vanity! Lever is so confident that he stops just before he crosses the finish line to sign autographs and kiss the ladies.

Of course the silly rabbit gets carried away. When he suddenly notices Nate crawl by, there are so many admirers crowding him that Lever can’t free himself from the mess and Nate wins by a hair. The moral of the story? “Better Nate than Lever!”

Young readers will cheer Nate on and enjoy how conceited Lever is undone by his vanity in this funny story. There’s a message here too about modesty and not taking one’s abilities for granted, but it won’t be necessary to point that out. I’m sure young readers will get it!

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  Bob Walch/2012 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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