Who Will Win? (I Like to Read)

by Arihhonni David (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: I Like to Read

Bear has fast legs. Turtle has a fast mind. Who will win the race?

A fun Native American tale that kindergarteners and first graders can read on their own. Ready, set, go! Bear will go over the ice. Turtle will go under the ice. Bear runs fast. But where is Turtle? When a quick-footed bear and a quick-witted turtle race across a frozen lake, Turtle has a secret plan to win!

Written and illustrated by Mohawk author-illustrator Arihhonni David, this easy reader based on a Native American tale combines exciting storytelling and easy-to-read language.

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Kirkus Reviews

Children will be charmed by the humor, drama, fun twist, and wonderfully entertaining characters. The characters' strengths and savvy will delight emerging readers.

Horn Book Magazine

Starred Review
A beginning reader that succeeds both as a learning tool for new readers and as a layered tale to appreciate over repeat readings. . . . There is a notable lack of beginning reader books from an Indigenous perspective, and this book is most welcome.


Fun for beginning readers, the book retells an amusing Native American tale with a satisfying ending, while the expressive illustrations help readers visualize the characters and setting. . . . Like many books in the I Like to Read series, this respectful retelling of a traditional trickster tale offers a welcome change of pace for beginning readers.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--Written by a member of the Mohawk Nation, this beginning reader opens with a Native youth asking an elder to tell a story. What follows, based on a Native American tale, features a turtle and a bear racing across a stretch of ice. "Bear has fast legs" and runs over the ice, while Turtle, with his "fast mind," races beneath. Though Bear speeds along, Turtle is somehow always ahead, popping up through holes in the ice. When Turtle wins, a twist reveals that he had some help along the way, and he shares the prize with Bear. Short, simple sentences and repeated words and phrases make the text accessible to emergent readers. A few Kanien'kéha (Mohawk) words used in the opening and closing are defined on the copyright page. The illustrations, rendered digitally, capture a snowy winter setting in shades of blue, green, and brown, and successfully convey the energy and movement of the race. The bear is particularly expressive. VERDICT This clever tale should find a place in most collections, especially given the lack of Indigenous voices and representation in the beginning reader format.--Lauren Strohecker

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Arihhonni David
Arihhonni David (Ah-Lee-Who-Knee) is an illustrator and storyteller from Akwesasne Ontario and a Member of the Haudenosaunee Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) people. Growing up with the legends and imagery of the Haudenosaunee people he developed a visual mind and love of art. He received his B.F.A. in Illustration and a minor in Indigenous Studies from Syracuse University.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Holiday House
Publication date
April 20, 2023
I Like to Read
BISAC categories
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
JUV043000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Beginner
JUV012080 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables | Native American
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

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