Raccoon's Last Race
Publication Date: October 2004
List Price: $16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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The team behind How Chipmunk Got His Stripes retells an Abenaki fable that warns against arrogance and honors the importance of keeping your promises.
Azban the Raccoon loves to race on his long legs. He is the fastest of all the animals, but he’s also the most conceited, mocking everyone with his speed. When the other animals grow tired of his attitude, Azban chooses Big Rock as his next opponent. Busy taunting instead of running, he trips, and Big Rock flattens him. Only the ants will help stretch him out againas long as he promises to be their friend. But will a trickster like Azban keep his word?
This clever and funny reimagining of a traditional story is for fans of Ed Young’s Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China and David Wiesner’s The Three Pigs.
Lively, clever, and authentic.”Kirkus
The text reads aloud smoothly and keeps the action moving quickly. A strong addition to picture-book collections.”School Library Journal
James Bruchac, son of Joseph Bruchac, is a renowned storyteller, author, and accomplished tracker. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York, and is the Director of the Ndakinna Wilderness Project. He also teaches in numerous schools throughout the Capital region.
In His Own Words...
"Jose Aruego s books for young readers have earned the applause of critics, teachers, librarians, and parents -- as well as the affection of children everywhere. Mr. Aruego s comic animals are immediately recognizable as they cavort through clear, vibrant landscapes, carrying out the action that the simple text has set in motion. It is a style one reviewer has termed illustrative mime.
"Jose Aruego was born in the Philippines, where he studied law and became a member of the Bar. But after practicing briefly, he decided to come to the United States to study graphic arts and advertising at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After graduation, he worked in adver-tising before taking up the demanding job of cartooning for The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, Look, and other magazines. Every Wednesday I would go to the cartoon editor with fifteen or sixteen drawings in hand, from which he might select one for publication. The tension was terrible, because selling cartoons was howI made my living. But I learned a lot from the rejected work, so it wasn t a waste.
"The sink-or-swim experience of drawing cartoons was how I learned to make the most of a small amount of space. Both abilities have helped him in his career as a children s book author and illustrator, which he began with the publication of The King and His Friends in 1969.
"Although he is known for his amusing characters, Jose Aruego takes writing and drawing for chil-dren very seriously. After more than three dozen books he feels he is still learning his craft and getting to know his audience. Each project teaches me something new and makes mea better artist. Each book brings me closer to children. From the popularity and appeal of Jose Aruego's books, it is obvious that he has both the artistic skill and the imagination to reach the world of children. His work has a distinctive rhythm, and his humorous animal characters have a gaiety and playfulness that children adore.
"I have found from making appearances at schools that when kids draw for themselves, most of them like to make funny pictures. SoI show them how to draw an alligator. It s a simple drawing and the teachers tell me that after my visit, Aruego alligators show up all over the school.