Hello, my name’s Alison Murray and I’m so pleased to have been shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2017 for my book Hair and Tortoise, which is a re-telling of a very old story by Aesop who lived a very long time ago in ancient Greece.

It’s a story about two friends, Hare and Tortoise, who live on a farm, and about how one day things didn’t turn out quite as you might expect.


Here comes Hare.

Hello Hare! Hey, Hare! Hello!

Could you stand still for a minute please, Hare?

Meet Hare: genus leapusswifticus.

He has ears that are accustomed to the sound of animals cheering

His eyes are sharply focussed on the finishing line.

His nose is ready to sniff out another victory.

His whiskers are extra twitchy.

His hind legs are coiled like springs ready to leap into action.

And his paws are used to crossing the finishing line in first place.

And his head is perhaps a little bit big.

Hare can barely stay still for a minute, but he can…

run through the tickliest grass;

rush around rivers and ponds;

nip over misty meadows.

(And he has never been known to resist a carrot.)

“I’m the fastest on the farm, no-one can beat me,” says Hare.

Today, Hare will be racing…

… Tortoise.

Has anyone seen Tortoise?

Tortoise? Where are you?

Ah, there she is.

Meet Tortoise. Genus slow and steadicus.

Tortoise can stay still for a very long time but she has never been known to:

run through the tickliest grass;

rush around rivers and ponds;

nip over misty meadows.

(But she will always do her best.)

“I may be slow but I’ll give it a go,” smiles Tortoise.

Let the race begin!

“Let’s race to the gate,” smiles Hare, with a twitch of his whiskers. “First one there wins, so that will be me.”

“We’ll see,” nods Tortoise.

When the cock crows, the race is on.

So they have to rush round the meadow;

round the duck pond;

through the carrot field;

under the shady tree;

and all the way to the red gate.

Ready… Steady…


“Oh!” says Tortoise.

“Byeee!” says Hare.

Hare races through the tickliest grass.

“I’m so fast, I fly past,” sings Hare.

Tortoise trundles through the tickliest grass…

“I may be slow, but watch me go,” hums Tortoise.

Hare is out of the meadow and zipping past the duck pond.

“I’m so fast, I fly past,” sings Hare.

Oh dear, Tortoise is not out of the meadow…

“I may be slow, but watch me go,” hums Tortoise.

Hare reaches the carrot field.

(Remember, Hare can never resist a carrot.)

“I’m so fast… huh? CARROTS!” gasps Hare.

“Tortoise is miles behind, so I’ll have time for a few nibbles…

… and a tiny nap under the shady tree.”

But where is Tortoise?

Ay, at last she trundles out of the meadow…

… she tootles around the duck pond…

… she tiptoes through the carrot field…

(Just look at her go!)

… and right past Hare, who sleeps on, dreaming of winning races and animals cheering.

“Hang on a minute!” gasps Hare.

“Animals cheering!”

Hare hurries!

Hare races!

Hare chases!

But Tortoise has won by a whisker!

“Hare, you may be fast,” smiles Tortoise. “But I walked straight past!”

Poor Hare. He’s not used to losing.

“Never mind, Hare, you might just win next time,” says Tortoise.

“Come on…race you to the lettuce patch!”


I hope you enjoyed the story.

Now it’s your turn to do something.

If you remember, in the book there’s a page about the Hare and the Tortoise and it told us some facts about them.

Well, I’ve made a You Chart that you can download from my website or you can make your own.

I’d love you to fill it out with some facts about you, all the things about yourself that you like.