Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now 2019 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve by Gennifer Choldenko
Beyond: the Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology edited by Sfé R. Monster
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco
Border Markers by Jenny Ferguson
Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle
The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany
Chicks Dig Time Lords edited by Lynne M. Thomas
Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien
Disney Manga: Magical Dance Volume 1 by Nao Kodaka
Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Ghostbusters: Crossing Over by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
Lost in the Labyrinth by Patrice Kindl
Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg
The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
The Sign in the Smoke by Carolyn Keene
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Swap'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver? by Sharon Kahn
Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

Miscellaneous
Curating while reading
February 2019 Sources
February 2019 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 25)
The slippery slope of trying to read current
When February is three months long

Road Essays
FF00CC: orphans in the maze of the city

FF0099: an orphan in a city labyrinth: a close reading of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

FF0066: Orphans going offroad in the city

FF0033: An orphan's journey to the big city by way of the Blue Highway

Road Narrative Update for February 2019

Previous month


Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


Tops & Bottoms: 03/17/19

Tops & Bottoms

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens is a picture book story about some industrious hares teaching their bear neighbor a lesson. The story is a retelling of a Brer Rabbit tale.

The gist of this book is that Bear, a landowner — a plantation owner — is too lazy to do his own work. The hares do all the work. To obscure the fact that the hares are stand-ins for slaves, they are recast as neighbors.

With the hares as neighbors, their motivation to farm Bear's land is weird. Granted, the hares are a huge, hungry family. Granted too that lagomorphs do raid gardens (see the second Fenway and Hattie book, for example) but here you have anthropomorphized animal characters sometimes doing animal things because it's convenient for the plot.

The focus instead is taken to how the hares trick Bear during their one year of farming for him. When they give them the "tops", they only grow root vegetables. When they give him the "bottoms" they only grow plants that produce edible parts above ground. When he wants both the "tops and bottoms", they grown corn and take the "middle" (aka the ears of corn).

What is left unanswered is why did they do this for bear in the first place? If he's not forcing them through slavery, why not just till their own land. If their land isn't big enough to feed the entire family, what happens next year? Does Bear share? Does he hire them to do the work?

Two stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: