The Big Box

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Disney-Hyperion, Sep 10, 1999 - Juvenile Fiction - 48 pages
53 Reviews
To make three youngsters - Patty, Mickey and Liza Sue - abide by their rules, the grown-ups - parents, teachers and other adults - create a world inside a box, a world with toys, games, treats and gifts. But all Patty, Mickey and Liza Sue really want is the freedom to be themselves.

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I really enjoyed simple storyline and illustrations. - Goodreads
Cute illustrations, but nothing groundbreaking there. - Goodreads
... giselle potter's illustrations are fabulous. - Goodreads
I also like the font of this story. - Goodreads
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In this first story for children by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, parents, teachers, and other adults determine the boundaries of personal freedom for Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue, three feisty kids "who just can't handle their freedom." To make these youngsters abide by their rules, the grown-ups create a world inside a box, a world with toys and games, and treats and gifts, and all kinds of stuff they think kids need to be happy and carefree - everything from a picture of the sky to jelly beans and brand-new jeans. But all Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue really want is the freedom to be themselves. And, they ask, why can't adults grant them this freedom?
This book is disturbing on many levels. It reeks of anger and resentment without demonstrating a healthy way to resolve those feelings. It belittles the seriousness of childhood behavior disorders by turning them into simple annoyances for adults - and then shows the adults putting the children away because of the annoyance. For children who are struggling with true neurologically based behavior disorders - such as ADD or ADHD - this is not the message that should be conveyed. Hopefully, this isn't what Toni Morrison intended for her message to be. In any case, this book is really targeted more at an adult audience, and that is where it should stay.
 

Review: The Big Box

User Review  - Beth - Goodreads

An allegory about how adults replace spending quality time with children by giving them Things. The adults then become reactionary and imprison them in a room full of more Things when all the children ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio on February 18, 1931. She received a B.A. in English from Howard University in 1953 and a master's degree in English from Cornell University in 1955 with her thesis on the theme of suicide in modern literature. She taught at several universities including Texas Southern University, Howard University, and Princeton University. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. Her other works include Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Paradise, Love, A Mercy, and Home. She has won several awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1977 for Song of Solomon, the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1988, the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. She also co-wrote children's books with her younger son, Slade Morrison, including The Big Box, The Book of Mean People, and Peeny Butter Fudge.

Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and collaborated with his mother, Toni Morrison, on five books for children.

Mary Pope Osborne is the award-winning author of many distinguished books for children and young adults, including the bestselling Magic Treehouse series; "Favorite Medieval Tales, " illustrated by Troy Howell; "American Tall Tales, " illustrated by Michael McCurdy; "Rocking Horse Christmas, " illustrated by Ned Bittinger; and A"daline Falling Star." The former president of the Author's Guild, she lives in New York City with her husband, Will.

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