Tops & Bottoms
Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens
Ages 4 - 7
Large, dynamic double-page-spread paintings are only part of the charm of this very funny picture book. Easily recognizable as a trickster tale (Stevens' source note roots the story in European folktales and slave stories of the American South), this features appealing, contemporary cousins of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear. Here, Bear and Hare are involved in a gardening partnership, with industrious, clever Hare reaping all the vegetable profits. As usual, Stevens' animal characters, bold and colorful, are delightful. Hare, decked out in a lively gardening shirt and surrounded by mischievous offspring, is the image of determination. It's Bear, however, who wins the personality prize: he snoozes away each planting season squashed in his favorite chair, changing positions with each flip of the page. It's all wonderful fun, and the book opens, fittingly, from top to bottom instead of from side to side, making it perfect for story-time sharing.
About the Author
Janet Stevens has been writing and or illustrating books for over 30 years. Her love of reading, art and children have combined to create the perfect career. Lately her collaboration with her sister, Susan Stevens Crummel have made the experience even more fun. Their titles include such favorites as Cook- a- Doodle-Doo, The Great Fuzz Frenzy, Help Me, Mr. Mutt and The Little Red Pen. Janet’s books have received numerous honors including, Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, ALA Notable books, Children’s Choice awards, Wanda Gag Book Best Read Aloud Award, New York Times Best Seller list and the Caldecott Honor for Tops and Bottoms. However, her most coveted awards are those voted on by young readers. She has won over 30 state book awards. Janet explains, “ When children read and love my books I feel as if I have done myjob. My greatest compliment is, read it again!”