Not A Box / No es una caja

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This Month’s Book:

Not A Box / No es una caja

Look there’s a small brown box! Wait a minute! It’s not a box, it’s a book! This month’s book selection, Not A Box, written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis, introduces readers to a creative little bunny who proclaims that a simple box is “not a box!” Instead it is a race car, a robot, and much more! This book inspires playing and imagination. Open-ended pretend play, such as playing with boxes, allows children the opportunity to exercise their narrative skills and supports creative expression and exploration.



Activity: The grocery store is a wonderful place to have a box talk! As you go through the aisles, talk to your child about all the different types of boxes. There are so many different shapes, sizes and colors of boxes to find. As you look at the boxes, underline letters and words on the packaging as you read them to your child. This helps children develop print awareness: the understanding that print is all around us and it has meaning.



Activity: In the story, little bunny pretends to blast off into outer space in a rocket ship made from a “not-a-box.” Invite your child to pretend zooming to the moon by singing the following song:

“Zoom Zoom Zoom”

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’re going to the moon.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’ll get there very soon.

If you want to take a trip,

Climb aboard my rocket ship.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’re going to the moon.

Countdown in

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…




Activity 1: The simple, yet endearing illustrations in this book invite readers to join in little bunny’s vivid imagination. As you read the book ask your child questions about the story, for example:

  • “We are going to read this book called, Not A Box, what do you see on the cover?”
  • Ask you read the story, ask, “Why do you think the bunny is sitting in the box?” Accept any answer your child gives.
  • In the story the bunny says, “It’s not a box!” Ask your child, “What do you think it is?” Let your child be just as imaginative as the bunny, even if the answer is not the same as in the story.

Activity 2: Enjoy more fun books about imagination and pretend play!

  • Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun
  • Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli
  • I’m a Frog! by Mo Willems






Studies show that pretend play helps children develop creative problem solving skills. Pretend play allows children to think outside the box and gives them the confidence to explore endless possibilities!

Activity: Invite your child to play with boxes! A simple box can provide children with hours of playful exploration. Suggestions:

  • Cereal boxes can become building blocks!
  • A box can become a really cool robot costume!
  • Tissue boxes with a long strand of fabric tucked inside can become a wonderful game for babies! Grasping and pulling the seemingly endless fabric allows baby to work fine and gross motor muscles.
  • Tissue boxes can also become a fun game that supports language development! Cut out pictures of animals from discarded magazines, or draw your own. Glue, or tape, the various animals on different sides of the tissue box. Let your child gently toss or roll the box to see what animal it lands on. Talk about the animal, then get silly with your child and imitate the sounds and movement of that animal.


Join the Conversation!

Share your experience with the book Not A Box and be entered into a raffle to win next month’s C2C Book Club title! For example, you could:

  • Tell us about your child’s favorite part of the story.
  • Send a video of you sharing the book together.
  • Send a picture of you and your child playing with boxes.

Share your photos and videos with us on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag Make Way for Books. For example, you could write:

@mwfbaz My child loved the part where the bunny pretends to be a robot, so we made a robot costume out of boxes! #storytime

Or email us your photo or video at

Be creative! We can’t wait to see what you loved about Not A Box.