Age guide: 4 to 8
Not a Box is about the joy of imagination, simple pleasures, and standing your ground! As per one very opinionated rabbit.
This looks like a simple little book – and it is – but it’s so much fun and appeals to such a wide range of ages.
The simple illustrations and sparse words might seem to make it a book for the very young, but I’ve found that adults and teens appreciate it most.
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.
Young children actually need a bit of support to appreciate it. But with support, it becomes a great springboard for writing or imagining or early reading:
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'.
'Box' is a great word because it looks different to the few other words on the page, making it easy to identify. So the reader simply points to the word 'box' and then, after a few readings, the conversation goes something like: "It's not a ......." at which point the child will almost certainly respond with "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 - and by 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 was written by Antoinette Portis and it would make a fun gift book – especially if you’ve just bought new white goods and have a decent size box to go with it!