Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Tortoise & the Hare

Pinkney, Jerry (Author/Illustrator)
Little, Brown 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780316183567 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 398.2
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Folklore

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“Slow and steady wins the race.” The moral of Aesop’s fable is the theme—and almost the only language—in this picture book. Lush illustrations depict the rest of the story: from the hare’s initial challenge, through the tortoise’s laborious progress and his eventual win over the flighty hare.

Detailed panoramas are supported by close-up images. The two racers and their animal companions are realistically rendered, except that they wear clothing. Tortoise’s red kerchief blurs, his jaunty cap flies, as he tumbles down a rocky slope. Up ahead, Hare (in checked waistcoat), lounges among the lettuces, having tunneled under the garden fence. Backgrounds depict arid landscapes—the natural habitat of tortoises and hares. Children will appreciate the details in these backgrounds, allowing them to track the tortoise’s progress as he gains on the hare. There is much to discuss in each picture. Children may choose to tell or write the story, too.

In the end, the hare shows excellent sportsmanship by awarding the victorious tortoise a new kerchief—the checkered flag of the race. An author’s note discusses the inspiration for the book, as well as his artistic choices.

  •  

    Discuss whether the hare challenged the turtle to a race or vice versa. How did the hare lose the race? Was the hare a sore loser? Refer to the illustrations when justifying your answers.

  •  

    Define fable and give other examples. Replace the phrase “slow and steady wins the race” with other sayings or expressions. 

  •  

    The artist explains that he “struggled in school because of dyslexia.” How did he apply the moral slow and steady wins the race to his own life? How can this phrase be applied in your daily life? Share an occasion when you persevered.

  •  

    Using speech bubbles, create a dialogue between the tortoise and the hare at the start of the race, and then at the end.

  •  

    Discuss what you know about this well-known fable. What does the moral slow and steady wins the race mean? What are the personality traits of the tortoise and the hare?

  •  

    Discuss what you notice about the illustrations. Make a class word list of animals, places and actions in the book.

  •  

    Retell the story. Use the book's pictures and vocabulary to help you.

  •  

    Write a newspaper article about this famous race. Include information that will answer the 5W questions: who, what, when, where, why.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health