Book 29: Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis, HarperCollins Children's Books 2006. Toddler to Preschool.
First of all, I love the "packaging" of this book. The cover looks like a parcel -- so cute and so clever.
Then there is the rabbit. "Not a Box" has drawn comparisons to "Harold and the Purple Crayon", another very good, buy-worthy book, but in some ways I prefer this book. Because of the rabbit. The rabbit is drawn in that deceptively simple way (rather like Mo Willems' pigeon), is nameless and gender-neutral. Any child can relate to the rabbit.
Recently, my seventeen-month-old son began to empty all the toys out of his toy box (and scatter the toys ALL over the family room floor) and then try to climb into the empty toy box. For his safety and my sanity, I had to move his toy box and set up an empty box in it's place. Now he climbs into the empty box. I remember doing this when I was very young. See, any child can relate to a rabbit with an imagination and an empty box.
The story and illustrations are easy-to-follow, toddler-simple. This book works great for story time with a large group of children, or story time with just one child.