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Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
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Tops & Bottoms (1995)

by Janet Stevens

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Love this book. First, it has the lesson of hard work pays off. Children have to think about what part of each vegetable is the "good" part. This is a perfect opportunity to teach about gardening, and nutrition. Why not bring in some of the vegetables highlighted in the story for the children to handle and even taste? I liked how the family all worked together. The illustrations are beautiful. Something that makes this book distinctive is that it opens top to bottom! :) ( )
  barbarapatt | Aug 25, 2014 |
I love this book. A great way to help children understand the parts of a plant, and work on their comprehension, prediction, and inferring. Then illustrations are fantastic, especially the root system cut-away. A great combination of educational and fun. ( )
  kradish | Jul 30, 2014 |
The first thing I noticed when I opened the book was it was not written in the typical way other books are. I found the way we read the book to go along with the title and the storyline. I think this book has a good moral to it that children should learn, hard work pays off. It also teaches children about different types of vegetables and how they grow.
  nicholew | May 31, 2014 |
This folktale has roots from Europe and slave stories from the American South. It is about beating hardship by using one's wits. It has the mythical element by having animals that talk and own land and money. It is also humorous. The artwork is beautiful with sweeping movement and solid colors. The book also doesn't read read left to right by top to bottom...clever huh? A cute story and a good read.
  ediekm1990 | May 17, 2014 |
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. Illustrated by Janet Stevens. Published by Scholastic. Copy right 1995. pg. 31

Type of Book: Picture book

Summary: There was a very lazy bear that was wealthy and had plenty of land. But all he did all the time was sleep. Under the ground Hare was in a pickle and needed some money and a way to feed his family. He lost all his land to Tortoise. So Hare went to Bear's house and asked him to be business partners. Hare would plant the crops out in front of Bear's house and Bear would just sleep. Hare asked Bear if he wanted tops or bottoms, Bear said tops. Hare and his family went to work planting and watering crops. When it was time to harvest Hare woke up Bear and told him he gave him the tops which were plucked from the carrots, beets and radishes. Bear was upset and told Hare to replant because he wanted the bottoms. So Hare replanted and Bear slept. When it was time to harvest again Hare woke up Bear and Hare gathered the tops of the lettuce, broccoli and celery. He than pulled off the bottoms and threw them in Bear's pile. Bear was once again upset and told Hare he wanted both tops and bottoms. Hare went back to planting and Bear went back to sleep. It was time to harvest again and Hare woke Bear up. Hare pulled off the roots at the bottom and the tassels at the top of the corn and put them in a pile for Bear. Hare told Bear that he got the middles and Bear got the tops and bottoms like promised. Bear was very upset and he decided to plant his own crops from now on. Bear never again slept through a session of planting.

Response: This was a very cute book. It shows a good lesson for children. It shows that you can't sleep through everything. You have to do things yourself so you know you are not getting cheated and do not let someone out smart you. The illustrations in this children's book was very good too.
  singleton2012 | Mar 4, 2014 |
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Once upon a time there lived a very lazy bear who had lots of money and lots of land.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152928510, Hardcover)

Hare solves his family’s problems by tricking rich and lazy Bear in this funny, energetic version of an old slave story. With roots in American slave tales, Tops & Bottoms celebrates the trickster tradition of using one’s wits to overcome hardship. “As usual, Stevens’ animal characters, bold and colorful, are delightful. . . . It’s all wonderful fun, and the book opens, fittingly, from top to bottom instead of from side to side, making it perfect for story-time sharing.”--Booklist

This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Stories)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hare turns his bad luck around by striking a clever deal with the rich and lazy bear down the road.

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