Tops and Bottoms

bookby Janet Stevens
AR Reading Level 3.2; 0.5 points
Available at

When Spring is in the air, this is a great read!

Summary:  This book is about Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear.  Brer Rabbit lost a risky bet with a tortoise, so he is short of cash.  He needs to feed his huge rabbit family.  He hatches a plan to win vegetables off Brer Bear, who has farmland.  First, Brer Rabbit says he do all the planting and split it with Bear.  He gets tops, Bear gets bottoms.  Rabbit grows lettuce, and things where the tops are good.  Bear is mad, and says next time he wants tops.  So Rabbit grows carrots and root veggies, because the bottoms are the good part.  Bear says he wants tops and bottoms next time.  So Rabbit grows corn, where the middles are best.  The trickery is awesome, and I love how the book is rotated, so the pages are long—it’s like reading a picture book sideways, except the pictures are oriented for it.

Activities: This book is GREAT for predictions!  Kids love to predict, and there is a real quandary when Bear wants tops and bottoms.  How will rabbit solve that?  My favorite prediction ever was when an English Language Learner said of Brer Rabbit, “He’s going to jack the carrots!” 

I like to tie this book in with the tradition of Brer Rabbit stories: Brer Rabbit is a trickster.  I would say Brer Rabbit cuts across cultures, because I always thought of him as a Southern character, but a British author I love, Enid Blyton, also writes Brer Rabbit stories (Amazon Link).

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Posted in Book Reviews by Corey Green @ Mar 23, 2010


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