Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 332

Picture Book: The Hare and the Tortoise

Author: Based on a fable by La Fontaine

Illustrator: Brian Wildsmith

Summary: This is a classic version of a well-known fable. In this version, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race. Other animals gather round to see the race. They expect it to be over quickly with the hare winning easily. Only the wise owl suspects they might be surprised. Once the rooster starts the race, the hare takes off and the tortoise moves slowly and steadily. The hare becomes too confident and is easily side-tracked by stuffing himself with food and then taking a nap. The tortoise is steadfast and committed, despite being worn out, and passes the sleeping hare. The hare wakes just as the tortoise is about to cross the finish line. Once he wins, the tortoise explains how his slow and steady pace had won the race despite the hare’s superior speed.  

Hanna’s Comments: There are multiple versions of this fable in picture book form. I like this book because it is big and illustrations are vibrant. If you need to choose another version, note that sometimes the tortoise is listed first in the title. How does this relate to spirituality or our Holy Scriptures? Think of verses about patience or perseverance. Another angle is to use this book to help your children explore how we each have individual strengths that are blessed by God and intended for good work. You could also use this book in a lesson on Paul, focusing on the race he writes about it 2nd Timothy 4:7.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Oxford University Press, 1966 

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and over, Pre and over

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? There are Spanish versions of this fable, but I couldn’t find any of this particular picture book.

Formats other than Book: There are videos of this fable, but I couldn’t find any of this particular picture book.

PBT Category: Traditional Tale and Classic

PBT Topics this Book connects with: abilities, challenges, commitment, competition, confidence, differences, difficulties, hope, individuality/uniqueness, labor/work, patience, perseverance, steadfastness, surprise, underdogs

Scripture Connections: Suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character… (Romans 5: 3-5); rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation… (Romans 12:12); let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9); I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7); blessed is the one who remains steadfast under trial (James 1:12)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children who are learning about patience, perseverance, being steadfast, or human individuality.