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Cheetah Can't LoseCheetah Can’t Lose is another winner from author Bob Shea.  When Cheetah’s friends celebrate the coming of Big Race Day Cheetah’s response is:

Which big race?

The one I always win because I am big and fast and you always lose because you are little and cats?

His friends (two little cats) tell Cheetah this year they are having a lot of races so that everyone can win.  Cheetah is still confident HE will win ALL the races.  The cats take him through the Flower Jumping Race, the Pie-Eating Race, the Ice Cream Sundae-Eating Race, the Yarn Pouncing Race and a Mind-Reading Guessing Race.  As Cheetah competes against his two friends they award him special “winner” shoes (big boxes), victory balloons and a too-big crown that falls over his eyes as he brags about his victories and they giggle behind their hands.

By the time they arrive at the final Great Big Race, Cheetah is a disaster.  The reader enjoys seeing Cheetah’s bragging create his own downfall at the hands of the clever kittens.  The big, bright illustrations help create the chaotic atmosphere for Cheetah that ultimately decides the winner of The Big Race.  The added piece of this story for me was that after the clever kittens have triumphed over the braggart, Cheetah, they perform a touching act of kindness toward him that gives the story an entirely deeper dimension that speaks to revenge and true friendship.



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