Tops and Bottoms
By Janet Stevens
Review by: Yvonne Gaudet
This large book is a wonderful story involving a very lazy rich bear, and his neighbors, a large family of hares, who were very poor! You see Bear’s father was very well to do, a hard worker and a great business man, who left every thing to his son. Bear being of the lazy type, he did nothing with the land he owned, in fact all he wanted to do was sleep! When Mrs. Hare and Mr. Hare realized they needed to do something to feed their hungry children, and you do realize how hares tend to have many children, they put their heads together and came up with a plan. Their plan was to become business partners with Bear, Hare would do the hard work of planting and harvesting the crops and they would split the fruits of hares labors right down the middle. Hare asks Bear “Do you want the top half or the bottom,” to which Bear replies that he would like the tops. Bear, being lazy, thought it sounded like a great idea, after all he couldn’t lose, or could he? As Bear sleeps, Hare keeps up his end of the bargain, planting seeds, pulling weeds, tending to the crops. When harvest time comes along, hare digs up his crop of carrots, radishes, and beets and leaves Bear with the tops! Bear, realizing he has been tricked, demands that Hare plant seeds again, and this time he wants the bottoms. So again we see Bear sleeping as Hare works the land. When harvest time approaches, Hare again wakes up Bear and gives him his share of the bounty. Bear gets the bottoms, and Hare gets the tops, that is to say Hare goes home with the lettuce, the broccoli, and the celery. This book continues in this manner except now Bear wants the tops and the bottoms and tells Hare he may have the middles. Well you can guess what happens from here can’t you?
I found this book to be very educational for my day care children. Although it was a story, it showed the children how some vegetables grow in the ground and some grow above the ground. A great book for the fall as many farmers are harvesting their crops! I have read this book to children ages 2-8 and it kept their attention throughout the story. The illustrations are very big and bright and are sure to be seen from the back of a classroom. This book is one of the largest books we have on our book shelf! I find it extremely worth the price!