Publishing: Harcourt Brace & Company; San Diego, CA; 1995
Awards: 1996 Caldecott Honor
Description: Hare and Bear are neighbors. Bear has a lot of money and land, but is too lazy to grow anything. Hare, on the other hand, has no land or money, but is willing to work hard. He tells the sleeping Bear that he will plant the crops and they will split them 50/50, with Hare getting the bottoms and Bear getting the tops. Only all of the crops he plants have their edible portion underground. The next season Hare tricks Bear by making the opposite deal, and then a third time…until Bear finally wakes up and takes his land back. By that time, though, Hare has saved enough crops to sell and buy his land back.
Programming: This would be a good opportunity to grow something in the classroom-one or more of the vegetables mentioned. Or, for a simpler activity for younger students, you might go through the vegetables and make lists of those for which the bottoms are harvested and those for which the tops are harvested. Scholastic recommends having the students make a salad with all of the ingredients listed in the book. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/tops-bottoms-lesson-plan)