Not A Box!

Title: Not a Box

Author: Antoinette Portis

Where to get: Available in public libraries and major bookstores

This book is one of my all-time favourites, a must-read book to tickle the imagination of a child! It is a picture book that is a great hit with adults too!


It tells of a rabbit who insists that a cardboard box is not a box! The rabbit then imagines it to be many things in his mind. From a robot to a spaceship, the character travels places as far as his imagination can take him! The examples below show how the rabbit sits in a box and pretends he is in a racing car. Another instance in the book portrays the rabbit standing on the box and transports himself to a high mountain.

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This book is highly creative and illustrates how children play with objects with boxes and engage in pretend play!

You will fall in LOVE with this book for several reasons:

1. Simple Text

It has a repetitive question and answer format echoing throughout the book. It provides predictability for emergent readers and the language chunks used in this book are great for children to pick up and use in their daily speech.

2. Clear Illustrations

It has simple colours like black, white, red, yellow that capture a child’s attention straightaway. The simple line drawings will also appeal to young babies and toddlers. These simple pictures will be especially visually helpful for children with autism or ADHD to pay attention to the story.

3. Taps on the child’s imagination

It offers opportunities for children to use their inferencing and predicting skills to imagine what the box can look like. They have to observe the visual cues of the pictures to imagine what it will represent.

4. Lots of teaching points!

You can use this book in many ways to teach different language use like prepositions (on, in, around), use of wh-question words (why, what) as well as the use of negation like the word “not”.

Look out for our next post on our own creative play episode with boxes!


Meanwhile, start collecting boxes for your child!

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