Tops and Bottoms Book by Janet Stevens

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This tale has its roots in European folktales and the slave stories of the American South. It celebrates the trickster tradition of overcoming hardship by using one's wits. We thought it made a great story to be illustrated on a nesting doll, and so offer not only the book, but also the matching nesting doll. Bear decides to enter into a gardening partnership with the wily Hare. Hare tells Bear to choose which half of the crop he wants at harvest time – the tops or bottoms. Bear chooses the tops, so Hare plants all root vegetables. The next time, Bear picks the bottoms, so Hare plants broccoli, lettuce and celery. Then Bear chooses both tops and bottoms, but Hare still outsmarts him and grows corn, keeping the ears and leaving roots and tassels for Bear. Hare is then able to buy some of his land back and open a vegetable stand. This hard-cover book is a Coldecott Honor Book, and an ALA Notable Children's Book.

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