The Tortoise and the Hare
Walt Disney Studios
Max Hare looks very much like Bugs Bunny in this early Disney sideways hardbound book. We plunge right into the contest day itself. The first scene suggests a boxer's garb and entourage. Max pretends to sleep in order to play a joke on Toby Tortoise. The most telling illustration in this book is for me the scene at Miss Cottontail's Boarding School, where Max stops to wow the long-eyelashed bunnies with prodigious (and impossible) athletic feats. Max catches up, but Toby wins by sticking out his neck at the last moment. Asked how he has done it, Toby proclaims in part If you do your best why you're bound to win.... Max hails the new champ and so is cheered too and hoisted onto the crowd's shoulders. The book is unfortunately much pencilled and crayoned. I first saw it at Midway ten or fifteen years ago. What a surprise to find it in five minutes before a plane!