PreS-Gr 5-- In this companion to The Little Red Hen (S & S, 2004), Downard applies his quirky sense of humor to the famous showdown between the Tortoise and the Hare. Here he plays with the conventions of the news media (the hype of a newspaper headline, the clichs of televised sports reporting) as much as with the characters themselves. Thus, a sparkly toothed broadcaster, represented by a donkey, welcomes "viewers from around the world," while bubbles depict a reindeer, giraffes, penguins, etc., tuning in from their native habitats. The digitally manipulated photographs are hilarious, especially images of the overly confident Flash Harry Hare, shown flexing his biceps in a muscle shirt and shades or striking a John Travolta pose in a white, three-piece suit. Meanwhile the earnest, aw-shucks Tom Tortoise keeps plodding along, and the rest is history. Purists may find this somewhat surreal vision unsettling, but kids will delight in the chatty, pun-filled telling and the silly scenes filled with animals dressed and behaving like their human counterparts--whether or not they've read a more traditional version of the fable.--Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library[Page 84]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.