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Customer Reviews for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Tops & Bottoms

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Tops & Bottoms

This tale celebrates the trickster tradition of overcoming hardship by using one's wits, in the same way that European folktales and American slave stories have in the past.

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. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. A 1996 Caldecott Honor book.

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Customer Reviews for Tops & Bottoms
Review 1 for Tops & Bottoms
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1 out of 5

unethical plot

Date:March 31, 2011
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Jess
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This story lacks ethics. The hero (Hare) gambled away his property. We are supposed to be concerned for him because now his family is in debt and needs food. There is no mention of the great impulsive lack of responsibility the hare demonstrated by gambling. Then, to pull his family out of his self-inflicted debt, the rabbit knowingly misleads the bear in 3 different shady, less than upfront business deals. The hare acted extremely dishonorably. This is a great book for the next generation of Enron CEOs to glean the ethics of greed, impunity, and lack of fair dealing. If you want to raise children to behave without ethics, responsibility and honesty, this is the book for you!
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