Not a Box

Not a Box

by Antoinette Portis


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Don't miss this wholly original celebration of the power of imagination, winner of a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award

A box is just a box...unless it's not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.

Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over inside a cardboard box, and through play, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.

The simple text makes the book appropriate for toddlers, but the message and retro feel of the book also lead to it being an original and compelling gift to mark an occasion such as a graduation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061123221
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/12/2006
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 40,451
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 1 - 6 Years

About the Author

Antoinette Portis is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Not a Box (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a 2007 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book), Not a Stick, A Penguin Story (also chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book), and Kindergarten Diary. She attended the UCLA School of Fine Arts and is a former creative director at Disney. Antoinette lives in Southern California.

Antoinette Portis is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Not a Box (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a 2007 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book), Not a Stick, A Penguin Story (also chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book), and Kindergarten Diary. She attended the UCLA School of Fine Arts and is a former creative director at Disney. Antoinette lives in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

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Not a Box 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
You know how young children will sometimes receive a super amazing fantastic gift and proceed to derive much more enjoyment from the cardboard box the gift came in? Well, according to Antoinette Portis' 2006 book Not a Box, young rabbits do that to. (So do cats, but that is neither here nor there.) There are a lot of reasons I enjoy this book, the first of which is because of its design. The book looks like a box (even though it's not). The cover is made of brown-cardboard-feeling paper. The weight (11.5 ounces) is clearly marked on the front, while the back notes which side is up. The cardboard theme understandably continues in the book's interior. The structure is the same throughout, so I'm just going to go through the first one: Brown lefthand page reading: "Why are you sitting in a box?" Righthand page: black and white drawing of a young rabbit sitting in a box. Turn the page. Red lefthand page: "It's not a box." Righthand page: color (red, black, yellow and white) illustration of the young rabbit driving a race car. The same scenario is repeated several times until the clever ending. At first I had thought that this book would be a hard sell for a read-aloud because, well, there isn't a lot to read. However, after discussing the book with "Tori" I came to a different conclusion. Tori suggested that the book would work better in a more non-traditional storytime where the kids get in on the act. Ask the kids what they see in each picture, let them describe the story. If the children are older, you could also ask them to find the "original" box in each of the rabbits imagined scenarios. The book would also work well in a one-on-one reading between parents and their own children, which is the scenario I had initially imagined for this book. I like the story because it's simple with nice drawings that children can clearly interpret thanks to the thick lines and limited palette. Also, since most children do enjoy a good cardboard box, it's likely that they'll be intrigued by the rabbit's scenarios and perhaps find ideas for their own playtime. I'm not the only one that enjoyed this book. In 2007, Not a Box was selected as a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. The award was established in 2006 for the author and illustrator who annually make "the most distinguished contribution to beginning reader books." The fun continues in with a piglet in Not a Stick.
Barbara Painter More than 1 year ago
Oh my box! this is the most funnist book
Sage Bremault More than 1 year ago
allawishus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 for you!
natasha.bevis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 contains events in the plot that are highly imaginable and not possible in the real world.Level: PrimaryStars: Theme
RayJones63 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
kowasuza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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!
coachncheern on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Pusparani on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿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. 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.
inquisitivefish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
justineaylward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SO good! Reminds us of how creative kids are without the TV and gadgets! I loved a good box when I was a kid!
katrinafroelich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 wonderful build to "it is NOT NOT NOT NOT a box.... it is my not-a-box"
JasonSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 kids.
jkessluk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 shape and make it something special.
roseannes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
radical_rachel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 Not a Box!"
Mikes_Dad More than 1 year ago
Simple, but powerful.  As a kid, my favorite toy was a pot.  Or, should I say, a not a pot.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
First of all, I love the "packaging" of this book. The cover looks like a parcel -- so cute and so clever. Then there is the rabbit. "Not a Box" has drawn comparisons to "Harold and the Purple Crayon", another very good, buy-worthy book, but in some ways I prefer this book. Because of the rabbit. The rabbit is drawn in that deceptively simple way (rather like Mo Willems' pigeon), is nameless and gender-neutral. Any child can relate to the rabbit.  When my son was about a year and a half, he began to empty all the toys out of his toy box (and scatter the toys ALL over the family room floor) and then try to climb into the empty toy box. For his safety and my sanity, I had to move his toy box and set up an empty box in it's place. Now he climbs into the empty box. I remember doing this when I was very young. See, any child can relate to a rabbit with an imagination and an empty box. The story and illustrations are easy-to-follow, toddler-simple. This book works great for story time with a large group of children, or story time with just one child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book is a bit bland and abstract for our 2 year old. We figured since it was a board book the subject would be interesting to children. Perhaps later in the year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book for young children. All children love boxes and it sparks their imagination on so many levels.
Tariqshah Syed More than 1 year ago
Lol funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Serrano Withers More than 1 year ago
coming ftom a boy that sounded wierd. Well that bunny is cute. I recemond for older or younger kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago