Tops and Bottoms
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...more
Interest Level: PreK-2
Genre: Fables, Folk Tales, Traditional Literature
Main Characters: Bear and Hare
Setting: Bear's front yard
This story is about a lazy, but rich Bear. Hare is his neighbor but lost all of this land in a bet with a tortoise. Hare has many children to feed and decides to trick this lazy rich Bear. He tells Bear that he can sleep all season while Hare plants in his yard. Hare will give Bear half of the profit. Before Hare plants for t...more
Summary: A hare came up with a plan to save his family from hunger and makes a deal with this neighbor the bear, who was wealthy but lazy. Hare agreed to plant and maintain crops for the bear and they would split the profits evenly. When the crops were harvested, bear realized he had been tricked by hare who separated the tops from the bottoms of the crops and eventually the bear learned to plant his own crops and hare made enough money on bear's crops to plant his own.
A Caldecott Honor book, Tops and Bottoms details the misfortune of a very lazy bear who owns a lot of land. All he wants to do is sleep, so when Hare offers to farm his land in exchange for half of the crops, Bear is quick to agree...more
2.This Caldecott Honor Book pairs two familiar characters in a very different situation. Hare, a hard-working but unlucky rabbit, uses Bear, who is rich but lazy, to his advantage come harvest time. Hare definitely uses his knowledge about food when it matters most and his family depends on it but when Bear finally catches on, it’s too late.
3.A. Janet Stevens’ traditional tale is pulled from times of hardship and slavery and does a phenomenal job of relating...more
This book is clearly a clever retelling of the classic "Brer Rabbit" tales from the American South as Hare cleverly outwits Bear by first letting Bear take the top halves of the carrots when he tells Hare he wants the tops and Hare gives...more
Hare loses his land because he lost a bet with a tortoise, so he makes a deal with bear. The deal is that if Bear lets Hare use his land that he will give bear half of the veggies. Bear agrees so Hare asks if he wants the tops or bottoms and Bear says he wants the tops....more
Rabbit proposes a partnership, with Bear where Hare's family will plant and harvest a crop while Bear sleeps. Their first agreement is to give Bear all the tops while the Hares keep the bottoms. So Ha...more
My kindergarten son brought this home in his "gardening" literacy bag, and he enjoyed reading the book and thought the way that Hare tricked Bear was really funny.
I thought it was a bit cruel at times, but obviously my six year old didn't pick up on that.