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The Big Box

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  459 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Because they do not abide by the rules written by the adults around them, three children are judged unable to handle their freedom and forced to live in a box with three locks on the door.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 10th 1999)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  459 ratings  ·  109 reviews


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Cindy Sa
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The big box
This book dose not have any cute paintings. All of things are painting by an real way. In my mind, maybe some children will not like it because of the painting style. But the content of this books is very wonderful.
There are three children live inside the big brown box. They are Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue. They are two girls and one boy. Patty is an naughty girl. She spoke in the library, sang in the class, and went to the restroom four times. Mickey is a mischievous boy. He wrote
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Shannon
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite stories. My son LOVED to read have this book read to him. A book about finding yourself even when everyone else is trying to put you into that same "box".
Kris
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Wonderful message, and Morrison’s rhythmic poetry really adds something extra to the text. I chose four stars instead of five because it is a bit complex for the picture book audience, and I didn’t personally find the art appealing.
Janna
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! This is a deep children's book.
Kayla Fjellbo
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
The Big Box is not your average children's book. It starts out with three children playing and their parents don't think they can handle their freedom. So they put each child in a big brown box with a door that has three locks, and a window that keeps them inside. The big box reminds more of a psych ward then an actual box that the kids' are in.

The illustrations in this book look they were drawn by a child, but that's what I love about the book. You can tell the author definitely had a kid's
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Shandy Htun
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book tells the stories of Patty, Mickey and Liza Sue and how they ended up living in a big box. All three of them were extremely active children, and as a result, the grown ups in their lives decided to put them in a box. While they lived in the box, the adults gave them things they though kids loved. However, all the kids want is their own freedom. The story is told with almost a song-like rhythm and heavy repetition. The illustrations are unique, and you can really see the emotions on all ...more
e.  ellor
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The message in this book is wonderful: you can't let people put you in a box just because the way you act makes them nervous. Obviously, since it's Toni Morrison, it's beautifully crafted. However I didn't really like the art style, it's long and the idea of parents locking their children in a box was something I thought might freak my son out. But he proved me wrong and LOVED it. He asked me to read it to him 5 times while we had it out from the library. He would probably give it 5 stars, I ...more
Erika J
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The art in this picturebook isn’t necessarily simple, but it isn’t realistic-looking either. I found it confusing at first how the children looked as though they were in a room when being placed in the big box, but then I found it amusing when I saw later in on the book that they came out of the box that they were placed in by people trying to contain their freedom. I feel as though the “moral” in this story is to not let anyone “box” you into categories that will have everyone accept you but ...more
Mary Hollowell
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Big Box is really a picture book for grownups. The adults, in this fable, think that they're helping children by keeping them sequestered. Instead, they should be careful to be neither overprotective nor neglectful.

This is poetic lesson in the value of letting your kids explore, while still providing them with a safe home base. It has rhythm, a refrain, and distinctive illustrations. Thanks to Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison for the very important reminder!
Sabrina
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educ-401
“The Big Box” is a great book because it opens a discussion on the idea of freedom and control, and it also can introduce poetry and rhyming. This book fits well into poetry and shows different patterns of rhyming, every other line and then ending on a rhyme for two lines in a row. This can show how poetry isn’t always in the same format and can take different shapes.
Drew Jameson
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is so good, and refreshingly challenging for a picture book. Adults force children to live in a box because they don't want to play by adults' arbitrary rules. And the children question and ultimately challenge authority in a healthy and respectful way.
Katy
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I was expecting when I went to read a picture book by Toni Morrison, but this is 100% what I should have been expecting. It's weird. It's intense. It's good.
Savannah Rollins
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-308-books
Kids wish for the freedom to express themselves and to go beyond boundaries set by adults.
Shay
Jun 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kids-books
I'd have given it less than one star if I could have.
Kelsey
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I have a lot of questions left after reading this book. I may need to ponder it more, but still feel very iffy about it.
Julia Pappalardo
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read. Way over my 4 and 7 year old’s heads but they enjoyed the cadence of the book and it made me think.
Karla Winick-Ford
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to love this more

Didn’t captivate audience

Illustrations are decent but sophomoric
Sarah Jean
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book for both kids and parents.
Travis
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A charming children’s book about freedom.

In the introduction to James Baldwin’s children’s book “Little Man, Little Man,” this book was mentioned as very important in increasing diversity in children’s literature. It is a lovely story, well worth reading to a child.
Molly
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed325reading-log
This book makes you think. For me I wonder if society is our big box? This book can stir up classroom discussion from 5-500 constantly making you think.
Cat Castillo
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The reason I chose this book for our social justice week was first because of the illustrations, the odd postmodern, even folk looking art style was both beautiful and strange. I was judging the book by its cover but that's okay, because the story is extremely powerful. The title page is a giant double page spread with an outside scene with birds and rabbits and other critters. The font of the title looks stamped on, just as it did on the box from the cover scene. This font makes bold and ...more
Emily Nunez-Eddy
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
“The Big Box” by Toni Morrison is a fascinating book that explores child versus adult ideas. In “The Big Box”, three children — Patty, Mickey, and Liza Sue — live in a big box, with paintings, shutters that keep the day out, a swing set, and all the toys they could ever want. The box has three locks and a door that only goes one way. For the reader, this box seems like a safe haven for the kids, their own personal playground, secluded from any adults. As the story goes on, a haunting truth ...more
Brandy Reed
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Parents are all different. Sometimes children grow up with extremely strict and disciplined adults who have a lot of rules for their kids to follow. On the other hand sometimes children have relaxed parents who might not care at all what their children do. In the children’s book, “The Big Box” by Toni Morrison, the storyline follows three different kids and their journey while being a child. All of them have parents who don’t want to deal with disruptive, crazy, active, and energetic children. ...more
Bianca Arias
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Parents are all different. Sometimes children grow up with extremely strict and disciplined adults who have a lot of rules for their kids to follow. On the other hand sometimes children have relaxed parents who might not care at all what their children do. In the children’s book, “The Big Box” by Toni Morrison, the storyline follows three different kids and their journey while being a child. All of them have parents who don’t want to deal with disruptive, crazy, active, and energetic children. ...more
Brenda  Roman
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Patty, Mickey, and Liza Sue are trying to express their freedom while adults/grown-ups around them is trying to restrict their freedom. They are all placed in the same big box because the parents are trying to determine what is best for them, creating a world for them inside the box. In the end, together they break free of the big box. “Who says they can’t handle their freedom?”

The illustrations from the book quite hard to understand and the book itself was tough to keep up with the plot and
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Kathryn Herbert
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
The Big Box, written by Toni and Slade Morrison, is not your typical children's book. It is about three children named Patty, Mickey, and Liza Sue who become forced to live in a box with three locks on the door because they are unable to handle their freedom. Out of all three children, Patty is the naughtiest. This is because she likes to go to the bathroom four times, talk loud in the library, and sing in class. Mickey, the boy of the group, is also troublesome and disruptive. He likes to yell ...more
Tory Haberman
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Big Box by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison is about 3 young kids named Patty, Mickey, and Liza Sue who are trying to express their freedom while adults/grown-ups around them are trying to restrict them from their freedom. They are all placed in the same big box, figuratively speaking, because the parents are trying to determine what is best for them, creating a world for them inside the box. In the end, the children break free of the big box leaving an opened-ended question of “Who says ...more
Hannah
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This grim tale tells how Patty, Mickey, and Liza Sue are banished to live in a box because “they can't handle their freedom.” Their transgressions are silly acts of disobedience as the children begin to test the boundaries of society. No one is willing to rescue them from the fated box, in fact, their mother's and father's are more than happy to confine them themselves.

This books looks at how society places constraints and rules on children, forcing them to grow up too fast. The adults fear
...more
Lindsey Hulsey
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Not a very colorful book, but has a good story behind it. Book for teaching and learning lessons.
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best
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