Tug of War
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
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A Nigerian folktale — one of the first picture books John Burningham ever illustrated — comes to life again with a new text by the venerable illustrator.
Hare, Hippopotamus, and Elephant all live together in the forest. But often, when Hippopotamus and Elephant have nothing better to do, they tease Hare and say horrid things to him. When Hare finally gets fed up with them, he conceives a plan: he will challenge each of the massive creatures to a tug-of-war competition. On either side of the trees, Elephant and Hippopotamus pull and tug all through the night, incredulous that Hare could be so strong! With cheeky wit and his signature illustrative style, John Burningham makes the case that even brute strength can be outweighed by brains — and a quick getaway.
John Burningham is one of the world’s most recognized and beloved children’s book creators. His work has received countless awards, including two Kate Greenaway Medals and a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor for It’s a Secret! With Candlewick Press, he is also the author of There’s Going to Be a Baby, illustrated by his wife, Helen Oxenbury, and his work is featured in the collectors’ volume John Burningham. He lives in London.
Burningham’s new text is typically unsentimental; school-age boys will probably find it outrageously funny.
—The New York Times Book Review