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Tug-of-War    by John Burningham order for
by John Burningham
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Based on a Nigerian folktale, this story pits a clever hare against an elephant and hippopotamus who both have been rather nasty to the little fellow.

'What a tiny, wimpy thing you are, with those ridiculous ears. All you do is hop around,' says the Hippo.

The elephant is no better with his taunts. 'Hare, you really are a feeble idiot, with your twitching nose and whiskers. That's all you have.'

Fed up with all this nastiness, the hare challenges his much larger adversaries to a tug-of-war. Now you are wondering, no doubt, how is a little hare is going to outpull these two huge animals?

Hare is going to use his wits. He is going to devise a competition that will not only stymie his opponents but also underscore just how dense they both really are. Of course, I'm not going to tell you how he does this. You'll just have to read the story.

With cheeky wit and his signature illustrative style, John Burningham brings this classic story to life again and humorously illustrates the fact that brains can usually trump brute strength.

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