New Picture Book is Excellent Update of Old Fable

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John Courter’s modern version is sure to capture children’s imaginations everywhere.

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In an updated version of a famous fable by Aesop, picture book author John Courter retells the story of the slow-moving but good-thinking tortoise. Like the original, The Cheetah and the Turtle centers on a race between two physically mismatched creatures of the wild. In Courter’s story, Turtle is matched against Cheetah, the fastest land creature on earth. A short story with a great moral lesson children can learn from, it is also amply provided with large, bright illustrations that help in the telling.

While Cheetah is a member of the cunning feline family, he is not at odds with Turtle. In fact, they are friends. They spend each day hunting or foraging for food and meet by their tree before the sun is at its hottest at midday. They then regale each other with the day’s happenings, which is about the search for food. Their lives are different from each other, never intersecting in the wild until one day Cheetah gets it into his head to challenge turtle to a race.

Cheetah has raced all the fastest animals in the jungle: springboks, gazelles, impalas, zebras, and wildebeests. His reputation for speed is as famous as Turtle’s reputation for being the slowest of animals. Surprisingly, Turtle accepted the challenge after some thought. His only request was that he would be the one to choose the place where the race would end. The other animals all agreed that Turtle was sure to lose.    When asked, he would smile and say that he had a plan. (A plan to lose, the animals would murmur out of earshot, sympathetic but not at all in agreement with Turtle’s foolhardy decision.)

On the day of the race, Cheetah was excited, ready to run his fastest, knowing that this race was going to be an easy one – he expected to have fun winning over his friend. But when the direction of the race was asked at the starting line, Turtle replied “Home,” and quickly shut himself up in his shell. Thus Cheetah was defeated – but they part as friends, Cheetah admiring his friends wisdom. Children will learn that it is not physical ability that wins races, it is the capability to think ahead and plan.

This book will be featured at the New York Library Association Book Exhibit in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on November 7-10, 2012.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
John Courter is a 48 year old male, father of two, who had worked his way through high school after a family member had taken ill. After the completion of high school, he took up the full time trade in pre-cast concrete – learning new things and developing third generation skills within the industry. Looking for a change, he then retired from the pre-cast concrete industry and attended culinary school. Upon graduation, he spent several years within the culinary industry, again facing new challenges and meeting many great new friends. Currently he is still a full time parent but has taken up employment as a maintenance man to be closer to home and family. When asked why would he try and write children’s book, he replies, “[I do it]…to share a priceless moment with others, they always seem to pass so quickly.”
The Cheetah and the Turtle * by John Courter
Publication Date: July 8, 2011
Picture Book; $15.99; 24 pages; 978-1-4628-2952-1
Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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