Not a Box

by Antoinette Portis

Other authorsAntoinette Portis (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2006

Call number



HarperCollins (2006), Edition: Illustrated, 32 pages


To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sckimmel
As any young child knows, a box is not a box but a racecar, a mountain, or a robot. A simple, repetitive text is paired with simple line drawings of a rabbit pretending that a box is anything but a cardboard box.
LibraryThing member mcegan
A story about a young rabbit that pretends his box is different things despite the prosaic outlook of an adult.

My husband really likes this book because it has very few words - much better for bedtime than a chapter from A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh. My two year old quickly memorized it and loves
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to recite it along with him.

The older kids like the book because they like all the different things the rabbit imagines.

I like the book because it encourages imaginary play.

Only drawback - you have to be careful turning the pages, because they tend to stick together and it doesn't work to skip them - harder to read with only one free hand than some others.
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LibraryThing member katrinafroelich
A delightful book that captures the power of imagination. The texture and color of the book itself is like a box. Each two page spread alternates between brown/black/white, and vibrant red/yellow/black -- to illustrate how powerful the rabbit's imagination is. Outstanding rhythmic repetition and a
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wonderful build to "it is NOT NOT NOT NOT a box.... it is my not-a-box"
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LibraryThing member inquisitivefish
I actually went out and purchased by own copy to always have on hand for a storytime. The clean illustrations add to the dialog of the book.
LibraryThing member allawishus
I didn't like it as well as most of the reviewers. It does seem good for read aloud and it does encourage imaginative play. The repetetive nature of the text is easy for toddlers and those learning to read to memorize. I guess that's the lesson of children's books - as an adult, they're not really
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for you!
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LibraryThing member justineaylward
SO good! Reminds us of how creative kids are without the TV and gadgets! I loved a good box when I was a kid!
LibraryThing member inglesby
This book is a great picture book. There isn't very much text, but from the pictures you can tell the story in your head. This book is for very young children. The rabbit loves to play around in the book.
LibraryThing member kdebros
Brilliant little book. I love the format, the drawings, and even the way the book itself looks like a cardboard box.
LibraryThing member JasonSmith
In a world of too much TV and too many video games, this simply illustrated book shows the amazing power of imagination. Every kid knows how to turn a simple object into hours of fun with just their mind. It’s an added bonus that adults get to relearn the lesson as they read this book to their
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LibraryThing member Pusparani
“Not a Box” is a brilliant book which captures the joy and fun of playing in a box and using imagination to see and think of the world in your own way. Antoinette Portis invites the readers to celebrate playfulness, imagination, and times when they played in a box and become anything they want.
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In “Not a Box”, a little bunny is questioned as to what the bunny is doing with the box. However, every time the bunny is asked, the bunny will answer, “It’s not a box”. The little bunny does not answer what that is in words, but the illustrations do. The Bunny imagines, thinks, and sees the box really as a car, a mountain, a fire to put out, a robot, a boat, a rocket, and others themes.

The illustrations work well with the text. Two elements, illustration and text, interact beautifully and bring the magical thoughts. The little bunny is a simple standard rabbit shape with dots for the eyes and large oval for the nose. It is a one dimensional drawing which pictures the box like a rectangle. The artwork features simplicity with child-like black on white line drawings that open your imagination and freedom of play. The ending of the book leave out a very nice building up imaginative thinking for readers.
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LibraryThing member roseannes
I was not attracted to the cover, but was so glad I picked it up. Though simple, the graphics reflect the way that a simple box can be so many things in your imagination. It emphasizes the power and importance of creativity and imagination in play. I think that this would be a great book for the
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classroom because it encourages creativity and coming up with your own ways to play and your own uses for other objects. A neat activity could be to ask kids to come up with other things a box could be in their imaginations.
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LibraryThing member susan.suihkonen
This picture book depicts a rabbit who demonstrates the many ways he can play with a toy that is everything but a box.
LibraryThing member arielaver
For anyone who has ever played in a cardboard box and really come to believe it might be something else, this book will bring back fond memories. It's also a great too for engaging young readers. Every child has many ideas of what the box might become, and that discussion is always worth having.
LibraryThing member jkessluk
A fantastically simple book showing how a bunny with great imagination can turn a cardboard box.... errrr.... I mean not-a-box into something fantastic. This book can be used greatly as a project with little children, or possibly even some in upper elementary school. You can get them to take a
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shape and make it something special.
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LibraryThing member radical_rachel
Not A Box has won the Theodor Seuss Giesel Beginning Reading Award in 2007.

This book follows a bunny and his imagination as he makes a box turn into a car, pirate ship, a robot etc. As he is doing this he is constantly questioned as to what he is doing wit h his box. His response always is "It's
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Not a Box!"
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LibraryThing member natasha.bevis
I absolutely loved this book when I first read it! Through its simplistic drawings it captures the amazing imagination that can take place inside a child's mind even with the simplest of toys. This is modern fantasy because it is first an animal that talks, and secondly depending on the reader, it
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contains events in the plot that are highly imaginable and not possible in the real world.
Level: Primary
Stars: Theme
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LibraryThing member awinkler
This book is so cute. Every toddler loves the box the present comes in more than the present. This book plays on that fact. It shows a young kid pretending his box is different things, anything but a box. When asked what the box is he replies "not a box." The illustrations show what he imagines the
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box is.
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LibraryThing member eurbanowicz
"Not a Box" follows a bunny as it plays pretend with a box. The box becomes a mountain, a racecar, and even a spaceship.

RESPONSE: This book is all about the imagination and the myriad things it can come up with. The layouts of the spreads are very simple, but effective. The dialogue between the
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genderless bunny character and the reader/narrator is also simple, but strongly rings of a dialogue between a child and parent. The fact that the bunny is genderless is also important, as it emphasizes that all genders can play with their imaginations.

THEMES/CONCEPTS: imagination, equality between genders, dialogue between a child and parent
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LibraryThing member RayJones63
This is a book about a bunny that is seen sitting and standing on a box. He is asked why he is doing this to the box and he replies that it is not his box. It then shows pictures of what the bunny is imagining.
LibraryThing member kowasuza
In this picture book dedicated to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes, a bunny plays with a cardboard box and imagines that the box is all sorts of things. When asked questions about what he is doing with the box, the bunny answers "It's not a box!" Illustrated with line drawings and a
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palatte limited to beige, white, black, red and yellow, the pictures clearly show all the wonderful things the bunny can do with the box. Children aged 2-5 will love this book!
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LibraryThing member lquilter
Parents love it because it shows all the kinds of imaginative ways to use a box. I'm not so sure how awesome it is for a kid, though: Playing with boxes imaginatively is awesome. And if the kid has trouble getting their own imagination going, then this book could help -- especially in these days of
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a million toys that are already designed as a kitchen, a truck, a boat, and so forth. But I'm apparently in a minority in not finding this one all that much fun to read.
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LibraryThing member shannanjones79
This fun story is about a bunny who is playing with what looks to be a plain cardboard box. He keeps saying it is not a box, it is a car, spaceship, or a building burning. This 'not-a-box' box can transform into anything he imagines it to be.
LibraryThing member coachncheern
When is a box not a box? Just leave it to the imagination of a child to transform it into wonderful, adventurous things. It leaves the reader imagining other fun uses for a cardboard box.
LibraryThing member mknest
This book follows a genderless rabbit as it plays with a box. The bunny uses his or her imagination to transform the box into a number of different things. This book is especially interesting because it emphasizes the properties of a box and, by extension, rectangles, while encouraging creativity.
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This approach to a mathematical concept is powerful and could launch more discussions of what is or isn't one thing or another, potentially leading to work with diagrams. A fun, minds-on book for students k-3.
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LibraryThing member nkwak1
In my opinion, this book was a great read for kids in kindergarten to second grade. I loved how the main idea or big message was focused on the rabbit's creativity and imagination. As young children, they could easily relate to having wide imaginations. I enjoyed how the language of the book as
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question and response. Having a language that is different from the standard informational text grabs the attention of the readers and makes them more interested in what's going to be said next in response. Someone would ask "Why are you sitting in a box?" and the rabbit would simply reply "It's not a box." The illustrations also play a key role in this book. The illustrations are the background or support of the responses of the rabbit. When the rabbit would give an answer, the illustration would correlate with it in showing why it is not a box. For example, rabbit was asked "What are you doing on top of that box?" Rabbit's response was simply put "It's not a box!" But the illustrations are what shows the readers why the box is not a box. In this scenario, the box transformed into a mountain top that rabbit conquered.
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