I think I have heard this story almost a hundred times; however, Janet Stevens did an excellent job of recreating these classic characters, story, and meaningful lesson.
The pastel, light colors help create realistic animals in the illustrations as if the animals could be seen in my backyard.
The enormous amount of white space on each page separating the text and illustrations reflects the space between the hare and the tortoise during much of the race.
On a side note I did notice that the raccoon wore the coolest cowboy boots on every page he was on! I loved those boots!