FICTION

Late Nate in a Race

illus. by author. unpaged. (I Like to Read Series). Holiday House. 2012. Tr $14.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2421-4. LC number unavailable.
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PreS-Gr 1—Nate, a young mouse, is the slowest one in his family, and he is still asleep the morning everyone else is dressed and ready to leave for the race. "'You race, too,' Mom says to Nate…. 'No, I like to go slow.'" However, when the flag drops, he zips down the road with great determination and easily wins the prize. The narrative moves along briskly to a satisfying ending: "Nate likes to go slow—and fast." Attractive pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations feature lively animals that burst with personality. This straightforward story offers an enjoyable read-alone opportunity and a broad message: don't pigeonhole children.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Mouse Nate likes to go slow (he wakes up long after his parents and siblings), but with his mom's encouragement he runs in a race and wins. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations picture Nate's family routine and capture his surprising win from last place. Although the bland text is somewhat condescending, the large font size, familiar vocabulary, and repetition are fine for early readers.

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