Big Box Little Box
Written by Caryl Hart
Illustrated by Edward Underwood
Published by Bloomsbury
RRP: $12.99 (Pbk)

It is no surprise that cats love boxes, and this love has been the topic of many successful and fun picture books for young people. This new book can be added to the list. The sparse verbal text, (most phrases and sentences are only two words long), at first describes different types of boxes. It then changes to questions, and as the reading continues, a narrative is formed where a cat explores many different types of boxes. One box in particular is interesting, and in it the cat finds a nice surprise to curl up with.

This is a fun and innovative picture book. The short sharp text is perfect for a story time crowd, with the visual narrative allowing plenty of scope for read-aloud fun. The illustrations are bright, clear and expressive. The endpapers will also provide plenty of opportunities for discussion.

Activity ideas:

  • Discuss how the text changes from stating what is on the page to asking the viewer questions. What are questions? How do we know it is a question? Discuss question marks in writing.
  • Bring a box from home. Make a cat and mouse puppet on a stick to re-tell the story.
  • Make a peek-a-boo cat using this resource from The Little Big Book Club.
  • Play box bingo. How many boxes like those described in the book can you find Adelaide_Smallat home, or at school?
  • Collect different sized boxes. Make something.
  • Bring in photos of your cat in a box. Display on boxes around the room.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for supplying this book for review.