Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Race of the Century, retold and illustrated by Barry Downard - review
Do we need it? Do we want it? Are we a little disturbed by the humanoid bunny covered with grey fur flexing on the cover?
Here's one that, I have to admit, is not for me but which other people might really really enjoy. It's Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare, of course, and it proceeds as expected, but it is framed as a modern-day sporting event complete with televised commentary.
It's the illustrations that are the big deal with this book. Done in nearly hallucinogenic Photoshop-augmented photo-collages, The Race of the Century is Animal Planet gone berserk. Meerkats in sunglasses. Squirrels eating soft-serve. And that rabbit. That rabbit truly creeps me out. On one page we see the rabbit posing for pictures. Shot from behind, he is flexing his biceps, hips cocked to show off his taut buttocks to best advantage, and he's wearing a sleeveless t-shirt that says "Bunnies Dig Me" in gold script.
I will take a pass on this book and instead bring home Henny-Penny by Jane Wattenberg again. "Shake, rattle and roll!"