Monday, September 10, 2007

Not a Box

I’ve been thinking for awhile that I should start talking up some of my favorite preschool books. I talk about chapter books and teen fiction all the time, but I come across so many amazing picture books that I decided I had to start sharing.

Book: Not a Box
Author: Antoinette Portis
Published: 2006

Why are you sitting in a box?
It’s not a box.

Of course it’s not! Anybody can clearly see that it’s a racecar. But apparently the narrator is blind, because he keeps asking the bunny protagonist what she is doing with the box. The bunny answers, increasingly irritated, that it’s NOT a box . . . it’s a mountain! a burning building! A balloon! An elephant!

Okay, I have to say right here and now . . . I love this book. While it may not be the most eye-catching spine on the shelf (cardboard brown), the boldness and simplicity of the front cover make it a beautiful display, and the story inside is just about as interactive as you could wish. Portis’s art clearly delineates the real from the imagined, but also emphasizes the richness of the bunny’s imagination.

The androgyny of both narrator and bunny (the pronouns I used above were strictly for the sake of clarity) also makes this as broad-appeal as possible.

And by the way . . . it’s not a box.

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