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Not a Box
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Not a Box

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  11,505 Ratings  ·  757 Reviews
A box is just a box . . . unless it's not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.

Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2006)
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Sophia Triad
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This book is a tribute to children's imagination and creativity. Beautiful!
Kathryn
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Cute! Imaginative! Fun! And totally in the realm of the child's vision. Loved it.
Gregory Walters
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love toys. When children walk into my principal's office, they notice two things: (1) kids' books, and (2) toys. In the toy department, I stock the classics: Slinky, Magic 8-Ball, wind-up critters. But I've overlooked an even more popular classic, one that doesn't require navigating your way through PlayStation gadgetry and Transformer movie tie-ins at the local Toys "R" Us. Get your hands on a large cardboard box--large enough to climb in--and watch the fun begin.

This picture book is an ode t
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the young at heart
I didn’t really think the ending worked but this very simple book captures perfectly children’s imaginations at play and how boxes (or other objects) can become anything. It reminded me of the box that came with a new stove and what fun my friends and I had in it as castle, house, fort, etc. and how we would use a table with a blanket over it for some of the same play. Kids are so great!
Cathleen
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, youth
How have I not added this book before now? I couldn't begin to estimate the number of times I've read either on my own or with a little one. It is a perfect - yes, perfect - blend of whimsy and cadence and inspiration and economy. The brown paper packaging is added delight, as are the carefully simplified illustrations. We all need more not-a-boxes in our lives.
KC
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's not a box 📦 but a rocket ship or robot or train or ....
Stephanie Calhoun
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book would be a great writing prompt. The students could come up with a way that they could use their imagination with a box (the teacher would need to provide boxes, of course). Such a cute book!
Zahrah Al-Merei
Very adorable story that encourages children to be imaginative and creative, I can see it being a great book to accompany an art or design unit within a class.
Andrea
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very cute book to help little ones be imaginative and think/play outside the box!
midnightfaerie
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A book my 6 yr old as well as my twin 3 yr olds loved. A solid reading level 1 book, this cute story keeps all ages engaged with the bright colorful pictures and cute story. A great addition to any children's library.
Nicole Gray
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Not a Box is a great book to get children to use their imagination. Throughout the book the bunny uses his imagination and turned something as simple as a box into a fun play time. He makes the box into several different things like a robot, a boat, like a building on fire and a pirate ship. This is a good book to do tons of activities with preschoolers in a classroom.
SarahEmily1990
Charming Little book about imagination and fun
Jenny
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A darling book for toddlers with big imaginations...that plain box you see? It's not a box...it's a car, a robot, or whatever you imagine it to be!
J
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book that inspires kids to use their imaginations. I love asking the kids what everything is when I'm reading this to a group.
George
I read to my 5-year-old. He reports he, "loved it very, super, much!"
For me, it brought back a particular memory that I wonder if my family recalls.
My parents had purchased a new refrigerator. The box it came in was an amazing sight! Until then I had no idea a box that size existed.
My little brother and I successfully persuaded my mother to allow us to sleep in the box for the night before it was disposed of. We happily did our get-ready-for-bed routine without the usual coaxing. The room was da
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Lindsay
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The words in this book simply ask the rabbit again and again why he is playing with/what he is doing in/why he is squirting, etc. a box. Rabbit repeatedly replies a very simple, "it's not a box!" The pictures tell the story of the rabbit's imagination as the box transforms from a race car to a mountain peak to a robot and more. This is a fantastic little picture book that all kids can relate to.

The repetition in this predictable book makes it perfect to share with emerging readers. On every oth
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Sean DeLauder
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Purchased this story to facilitate my children's imagination and teach them it's okay to have one. Probably unnecessary, as the oldest, Graham, has no trouble imagining he is a dinosaur or other animal (he watches a lot of Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train).

My imagination, though, is not always as welcome, as evidence of Graham's most common protests: "No, daddy, I am not a drum!" and "No, daddy, I am not a tasty food!"

Alas.

While I fully enjoy Graham's imagination, which I've seen at work many a ti
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Leslie Bardo
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is an interactive story of a bunny that has a box, for which the narrator asks what he or she is doing with the box. The bunny replies every time with what he or she imagines it is- a race car, a mountain, a building on fire, a robot, a pirate ship, a hot air balloon, a steamboat, a rocketship, etc. This book was so cute and well done that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The cover is made of cardboard material so that even the book seems like it could be made out of a box. The illustr ...more
Karen
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I love the "packaging" of this book. The cover looks like a parcel -- so cute and so clever.

Then there is the rabbit. "Not a Box" has drawn comparisons to "Harold and the Purple Crayon", another very good, buy-worthy book, but in some ways I prefer this book. Because of the rabbit. The rabbit is drawn in that deceptively simple way (rather like Mo Willems' pigeon), is nameless and gender-neutral. Any child can relate to the rabbit.

When my son was about a year and a half, he began
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Dolly
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a humorous tale about a rabbit and a box (I mean, it's not a box.) The plot is similar to Crispin: The Pig Who Had It All, but it's a much more simple tale, just a conversation between the reader and the rabbit. Still, it speaks to the creativity and imagination that children have, often preferring to play with boxes and make up a world of their own rather than merely play with a pre-defined toy. We enjoyed reading this story together, taking turns reading the questions and responses.

Th
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Sarah Hammerton
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not a Box is a lovely story about the power of imagination. It begins by asking Rabbit 'Why are you sitting in a box?'. Rabbit replies 'It's not a box' and on the next page we see Rabbit in a racing car. The question is repeated with the same answer each time and a variety of different situations including a burning building and a space ship. The simple, stylised illustrations perfectly reflect the theme of the book - that you can create anything with your imagination.

The cover of the book is p
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June
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who has or does play w/boxes
Recommended to June by: Elissa?
A rabbit is asked repeated questions about what s/he is doing with a box. The rabbits response each time is "It's not a box." The illustration shows what s/he thinks it is. The last response to the question "Well, what is it then?" is great. 6/21/12

Use at PJ Story Time and this worked almost as well as My Friend Rabbit to keep the young boy's attention.

This worked much better at story time where some of the children were slightly older and could participate and respond with what the box is. Work
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Monica
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple book on a box that can spark your creativity.
Emma Otusajo
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing


This is an early reader's book great - simple but with a clear message that illustrates how children use their imagination to play with simple things - like cardboard boxes! (Making you wonder why you spent all that money on those toys when all they really want is the box...)

The story is sweet, with good illustrations and large print - an early reader could definitely relate to this story. Good for getting children to use their imagination to use props in a drama activity.

From another perspectiv
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Tc
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inpiring, favorites
So much potential! This book is just terrific! A must read (over and over). Teachers can use this book in endless ways. Read the book a time or two, and then bring in a box and have children take turns in the middle of circle time saying what they are imagining their box can be. Then let them work together to make something out of the box (car, airplane, house, rocket, etc)! The favorite thing I've ever done with a big box is poke christmas lights all over one side and add a door and windows. Th ...more
Sharmin Ali
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A little rabbit has a box. Everyone keeps asking him questions about the box but the rabbit suggests that it is “not a box” and begins to get frustrated. He has very creative imagination and makes the box into different things in his imagination such as a car, mountain etc.

Although, this story is very short, I really enjoyed it. I love how the pictures show us the imagination of the rabbit. I also like the cover over the book, which has a cardboard box feeling to it. It will be a very good story
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Jeana Wert
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was cute, but it was not on my list of favorite children's books. There were a couple positives about the book, like the bunny using his imagination. This could teach young children to use their imagination with simple objects such as this cardboard box. I liked that the pictures showed the different ways the bunny saw the box in his own mind. I did not like that the lines were so harsh and dark, and there were hardly any color in the pictures. The red showed what the bunny saw in his ...more
Amynicole
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-littles
i sincerely love a good imagination boost and inspiration book for children. the simplistic lines are perfect, the shape & color of the book itself resembling a box-- classic. well done!
Zequoia Hyche
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not a Box is a fun story to read, because it is very simple. It has few words, but says so much about how important it is to foster creativity. It encourages children to see this ordinary box in a different manner. The illustrations are pretty simple as well, but they display different ways a box can be transformed into something greater. We want our children to be creative and to think for themselves. As teachers we should not want to conform our children to a box. We want them to explore diffe ...more
Laura
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was totally a hit with my kindergarten students. A bunny has a box but uses it to imagine a race car, climb a mountain, and rocket to the moon. Antointte Portis uses red lines to show the bunny's imagination, which is a perfect delineation for my kindergarten students.

I gave my students a bunny and box to design their own Not A Box. They had great ideas but it was hard for some of them to translate their ideas into a picture that reflected Portis style.
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Antoinette attended the UCLA School of Fine Arts and is a former creative director at Disney. She lives in Southern California.
More about Antoinette Portis