Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race

Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race

Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator:  Arthur Howard 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Harcourt, 2008   ISBN: 978-0152060695

It is April and Mr. Putter and Tabby are full of that springy feeling that one gets at this time of year. They are not the only ones who are feeling this extra burst of energy and well-being. Mr. Putter's neighbor Mrs. Teaberry is full of zip and she calls Mr. Putter to tell him that there is going to be a marathon race and she wants Mr. Putter to run the race with her.

Mr. Putter wonders if he might be too old for such a thing but Mrs. Teaberry tells him that the race is a senior marathon. Then she tells her friend that there will be prizes and Mr. Putter is well and truly hooked because he loves prizes.

And so Mr. Putter finds his sneaker and begins to work out. He discovers that it is not easy to work out when one hasn't done so for thirty years. He tries touching his toes but has to be happy with touching his knees instead. Mr. Putter keeps on touching his knees regularly - and having cups of tea with Tabby afterwards.

Finally the big day arrives. Mrs. Teaberry and Zeke are all decked out in running outfits and the four of them drive to the race area together. The race begins and Mrs. Teaberry is in front. Mr. Putter is last. Then Zeke, Mrs. Teaberry's dog, decides to join the race and chaos ensues. Can anything good come of this disaster?

In this deliciously funny chapter book young readers will discover that one never gets too old to enjoy receiving prizes (and model train sets). Mr. Putter and Tabby's adventures are as heartwarming as ever and they will give children plenty to smile about. Perfectly suited to children who are keen to read on their own, this book is one of a series of books about Mr. Putter and Tabby.