Read Tops & Bottoms (Caldecott Honor Book) by Janet Stevens Free Online
Book Title: Tops & Bottoms (Caldecott Honor Book)|
The author of the book: Janet Stevens
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date of issue: March 29th 1995
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.66 MB
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Loaded: 1103 times
Reader ratings: 3.8
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While I most definitely enjoyed Janet Stevens' Tops & Bottoms (and do understand why and how it won a Caldecott Honour designation), on a purely personal level, I actually find the illustrations a bit too brash, bold and in-your-face for my own tastes (and having to turn the book on its side, really rather majorly annoyed me at first). That being said, I can appreciate that this cumulative and often slyly humorous folktale adaptation will likely be a hit with most youngsters, and that the illustrations truly both compliment and complement the narrative (text and image certainly work exceedingly well together).
Tops & Bottoms rather strongly reminds me of the numerous European folktales where a usually male peasant or farmer trickster like personage makes a deal with the Devil (or some other kind of an evil demonic entity) to share his crops (and of course, wins against the same, always picking the choicest parts of the harvest, leaving the Devil with the chaff so to speak). With that fact in mind, I think that for me, the biggest and most troublesome issue with this otherwise excellent offering is the absence of a detailed author's note showing the story's origins and which specific tale or combination of tales the author used for her adaptation. I would certainly be interested knowing whether Janet Stevens had adapted her narrative from one of the "outsmarting the Devil folktales" with which I am familiar, and whether the original tale or tales she used as a source, feature animal trickster characters (like Tops & Bottoms itself does). I guess the absence of an author's note is not all that essential for the enjoyment of the story itself, but I think it would have been a helpful addition, as I always tend to think that if you are going to be adapting a folk or fairy tale, you really ought to be providing information as to its origin, genesis, history and the like. And considering I have now discovered that Tope & Bottoms is actually considered to be an adaptation of an African American folktale, this makes the lack of an author's note even more of a potential issue for me, as it would have most definitely increased the folkloric value to have been able to compare and contrast different types of tops and bottoms like tales (the European outsmarting the Devil ones with those that deal mostly with animal tricksters and are perceived as being primarily African in origin).
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Read information about the authorJanet Stevens began drawing as a child. Pictures decorated her walls, mirrors, furniture and school work -- including math assignments. While this didn't always sit well with her teachers, it was what she loved to do.
Janet’s father was in the Navy therefore she moved a great deal and attended many schools while growing up.
After graduating from high school in Hawaii in 1971 she landed a job creating Hawaiian designs for fabric. The printed fabric was then made into aloha shirts and muumuus. After she graduated from the University of Colorado in 1975 with a degree in Fine Arts Janet began compiling a portfolio of “characters”, bears in tutus, rhinos in sneakers, and walruses in Hawaiian shirts. In 1977, she attended “The Illustrator's Workshop” in New York City, where it was suggested that her characters might find a home in a children's book. Luckily for libraries (and children's book readers in general), publishers agreed and her first book was published in 1979.
Janet is the author and illustrator of many original stories and frequently collaborates with her sister, Susan Stevens Crummel. Her trademark humorous animals also accompany the texts by such authors as Eric Kimmel and Coleen Salley,
Janet has received numerous book awards, including a Caldecott Honor Award, Time Magazine’s Ten Best Children’s Books , the Wanda Gág Best Read-Aloud Book. Child Magazine’s Best Books of the Year.. Janet's books have been named ALA Notables and have repeatedly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List.
She is particularly proud of her state book awards, voted on by children -- which include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Nebraska and Washington. Janet has received the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award twice.
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