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Cover image for Big box little box
Big box little box
New York : Bloomsbury, [2018]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
A curious cat investigates every box it can find--and makes a mouse friend along the way.


Call Number
JP Hart

On Order



Big box , little box
Shoe box , hat box . . .
Perfect for a cat box!

Join one cool cat and lots of fun boxes in this charming take on curiosity and friendship.

Author Notes

Caryl Hart writes picture books and young fiction and loves walking her dog and sitting in cafes and libraries. She runs creative literacy workshops for schools and libraries. She has written Whiffy Wilson, The Princess and the Peas, The Princess and the Presents, and The Princess and the Giant . She lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two daughters.

Edward Underwood is one half of the Lisa Jones Studio design team. He and his wife, Lisa, began designing and hand-printing their own range of cards in their London studio in 2000. Drawing on their backgrounds in art and fashion, they've since stocked the world's finest galleries, museums, boutiques and department stores with design-led goodies. Big Box Little Box is Edward's first picture book.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-In this delightful British import, a curious gray cat investigates boxes of assorted colors and sizes. Believing as most cats do that all boxes are "cat box[es]," the indomitable feline gets in and out of a slew of containers, some to the consternation of its owner, until encountering a mysterious nibbled box. Peeking inside, the kitty discovers a little mouse. Naturally, the cat playfully pursues the mouse, but in the end, the unlikely new friends share a cozy cuddle in the cat's nap box. Pared-down graphic illustrations match the short but snappy text, both imbued with contagious energy of a frisky cat. VERDICT A lively lighthearted frolic that will have young audiences asking for it again and again in one-on-one readings or in storytime.-Yelena Voysey, formerly at Pickering Educational Library, Boston University © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With its bold, retro-stylized images and easy-reader verse, this creation harkens to iconic picture books of decades past. It stars a gray cat with brilliant green eyes-a cat that loves, as most cats do, to play with boxes. Fortunately, the cat's house is full of them. In a broad, cheerful spread, the cat hides behind an orange-and-pink-striped gift box, and a smaller box stands close by: "Big box/ Little box," the verse begins. More are pictured: "HUGE box/ Tiny box/ Thin box/ Fat box." The cat tries sitting on a box, which quickly collapses: "Cat box?/ Flat box." It finds a small mouse, but instead of dispatching it according to feline custom, the cat makes friends. Hart's (The Princess and the Peas) punchy, telegraphic text recalls One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, while stylish, vintage-y graphics by debut British illustrator Underwood have some of the flavor of mid-century ads. A handsome palette of lime, warm gray, and fuchsia, simple visual elements, and moments of humor create a visual excursion that explores shapes, actions, and sequences of events. Ages 3-6. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Big box / Little box / HUGE box / Tiny box." So begins this look at boxes and the gray cat who can't get enough of them. While the book's narrow focus will appeal most to cat lovers, Underwood's visually pleasing pencil, ink, and computer-assisted collage illustrations make each box look snazzy. The book concludes with a cute (literal) game of cat and mouse. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

First published in Great Britain, this concept book from a seasoned author and debut illustrator follows a feline as it explores a variety of boxes. Size, color, and design are among the ideas contrasted through simple rhymesa structure that will have youngsters participating enthusiastically as they become attuned. Hart and Underwood think outside the box for many of their choices, so there are surprises along the way. A lightweight cube presents itself as a pedestal or potential "Cat box?" Soon, however, it becomes a "Flat box" underneath the dazed creature. Later, the animal places each paw in a separate "Shoe box?" and looks quite silly while adding a pink "Hat box?" This ensemble leads to some "SlippySlidey" movement that places the protagonist next to a brown container with a tiny, nibbled hole; a lively chase ensues. The gray, green-eyed feline figure is easy to spot against the changing colors of the backgrounds, and there are enough textures and patterns to maintain visual interest throughout the simple narrative. The repetition of "box" and the clipped, mostly two-word phrases make this one that readers will have a hard time not chanting as they read aloud.Boxes, a cat-and-mouse romp, a concluding snuggle between "new friends"toddler bliss. (Picture book. 1-4) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Sometimes a box is just a box. And sometimes a box offers a pathway to adventure for a playful kit. Simple text identifies pictures of a variety of boxes that a cat encounters. The boxes are huge, or tiny, thin, or fat; they can be yellow, green, or plain, jazzy, spotty, or snazzy. A green-eyed, gray cat is eager to investigate them all. It pounces, hides, snores, and chews as the pages turn. But it is the MOUSE BOX! that is the most interesting. A squeaky gray mouse with a preposterously curling pink tail and quivering whiskers lives inside that one. After a chase, a scurry, a pounce, a bounce, and a tickle, the two find rest and comfort snuggled in a bed box for two, as closing pictures pronounce, New friends. ENDS. The vivid illustrations in brightly colored hues are surrounded by generous white space and simple (boxy, of course) shapes. Children will enjoy finding the cat in each carton and discovering how it climbs in and out of the various containers, hiding, smashing, or snoring its way through the pages.--Lolly Gepson Copyright 2018 Booklist