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)
There’s definitely some nostalgia here for me, but I absolutely love this book! It has its own folksy feel from the original tales, emphasized and added to by the rich illustrations (this is a Caldecott winner after all!) while still being relevant and modern. Is anyone else loving Father Hare’s sweet carrot shirt?! While I don’t necessarily condone Father Hare’s wily business practices, in the spirit of a true folk tale the deserving are fed and the not so deserving learn a lesson… this time about doing your own hard work.
Janet Stevens is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books, including Tops & Bottoms, a Caldecott Honor Book. With her sister and co-author, Susan Stevens Crummel, she created the acclaimed best-sellers The Great Fuzz Frenzy, Help Me, Mr. Mutt!, The Little Red Pen and more. She is also the illustrator of the Epossumondas books, written by renowned storyteller Coleen Salley. Janet Stevens lives in Colorado. Visit her online at janetstevens.com.