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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Tops & Bottoms

This tale celebrates the trickster tradition of overcoming hardship by using one's wits, in the same way that European folktales and American slave stories have in the past.

Bear decides to enter into a gardening partnership with the wily Hare. Hare tells Bear to choose which half of the crop he wants at harvest time -- the tops or bottoms. Bear chooses the tops, so Hare plants all root vegetables. The next time, Bear picks the bottoms, so Hare plants broccoli, lettuce and celery. Then Bear chooses both tops and bottoms, but Hare still outsmarts him and grows corn, keeping the ears and leaving roots and tassels for Bear. Hare is then able to buy some of his land back and open a vegetable stand. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. A 1996 Caldecott Honor book.

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