Bouchard, David. The Great Race. Illustrated by Huang, Zhong-Yang. Millbrook, 1997. ISBN 0-7613-0305-7. $15.90. 32 pp. A 4-7 PB Reviewed by Lanell Rabner “Tonight, as they had done many nights before, the old woman and her granddaughter took out paper cutouts of the twelve that had taken part in the Great Race.” So begins this delightful fable of how order came to the Chinese zodiac. It was the Great Buddha who summoned the dragon and eleven other animals to meet with him at a time “when the moon was young.” He gathered the animals together, pitting them against each other in a race to the Jade City, recognizing that one would come in first and one would come in last. However, the first would not be the greatest, nor would the last be the weakest.”You will end up stretched out like beads on a necklace, and this will determine the order of your appearance for all matters of earthly importance,” said the Great Buddha. As the race began, it soon became evident that there were more important things than being the fastest. Enhanced by powerful paintings that blend traditional Chinese painting with contemporary Western influences, this lively tale, so masterfully written, reminds us that being first is really not the most important thing in life after all: Not much is said of what happened after the race, child. What is known for certain, however,” is that a weary ox entered the Jade City with only the welfare of a small rat on his mind. And in so doing he sealed his fate for all time as the second of the twelve animals in the zodiac. This pure visual delight makes an excellent read-aloud story for readers of all ages.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.