the joys of imagination, simple pleasures and standing your ground—via an opinionated little rabbit!

 
 

This looks like a simple little book—and it is—but the cute illustrations and sparse words might lead you to think it's a book for just the very young. In actual fact, it's so much fun that it appeals to a wide range of ages and I've found that adults and teens appreciate it the most.

Not a Box is about the joys of imagination, simple pleasures, and standing your ground! As per one very opinionated rabbit.

Essentially, there’s a series of questions such as ‘What are you doing on top of that box?’  which are followed by variations of the same answer: ‘It’s not a box!’ '

Each answer is accompanied by cute illustrations that let us into the imaginary world of the little rabbit protagonist.

I've found that young children usually need a bit of support to appreciate the story—and it then becomes a great springboard for writing or imagining or early reading.

This is such a skilful book: almost every second page has the phrase 'Not a box!' repeated. There's a word or two of variation to keep it interesting, but the last word on every second page is 'box!'.

The word 'box' is great because it looks different to the few other words on the page, making it easy to identify. So the reader can simply point to 'box!' and then, after a few readings, the conversation can go something like: "It's not a .......". At this point the child will almost certainly call out "Box!"

From there, it's a quick leap to "Can you find the word that says box?" (don't let them fail here of course)—then repeat throughout the book. By the time you get to the end,  you can confidently and loudly proclaim that the child can read!

Later, the same idea can be used for "not"—and so on.

Not a Box makes a fun gift book—especially if you’ve just bought new white goods and have a decent size box to go with it!

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Book Depository has free postage anywhere in the world and great pricing, but Amazon might be cheaper for North American readers.

NOT A BOX
by Antoinette Portis - Harper Collins Publishers, 2011
ages 4 to 8 years / picture books + funny, language