Tops and BottomsReading Comprehension Questions By Caroline Liu
P287Q1:Who or what do you think“tops” and “bottoms” might be?
P287Q2: From looking at thepictures, what kind of story doyou think this is?
P287Q3: What do you think themain characters are, and whatdo you think they will do?
P288Q4: Why did the bear havelots and money and lots ofland?A4: His father had been a hard worker and a smart business bear, and he had given all of his wealth to his son.
P288Q5: Why did Hare havenothing?A5: He had lost a risky bet with a tortoise and had sold all of his land to Bear to pay off the debt.
P288Q6: How are Bear and Haredifferent? A6: Bear is rich and lazy. He lives alone in a big house and has lots of land. Hare is poor and clever. He lives in a hole with a big family and has no land.
P288Q7: Why is the Hare family“in very bad shape”?A7: They are poor and hungry. Hare has no land and money.
P288Q8: How can you tell that thisis the kind of story called afolk tale? A8: 1.Once upon a time. 2. Animals characters that act like people. 3. Situations that could never happen in real life. 4. The word adapted on the title page is a clue that the author is basing this story on an old one.
P290Q9: What is Hare’s mainproblem? How does he plan toget what he needs? A9: Hare’s family is hungry, and he wants to get food by planting crops in Bear’s field. To get Bear’s permission, Hare says he will be Bear’s business partner and split everything down the middle.
P291Q10: What do you know thatBear probably does not know? A10: Hare is clever, so he is just saying that he will do all the work and take half the profit. Bear is too lazy and sleepy to realize that Hare is going to trick him somehow.
P292Q11: Which half did Bearwant?A11: He wanted the top half.
P292Q12: How does Hare familyshare their work?A12: Mr. Hare planted. Mrs. Hare watered, and everyone weeded.
P293Q13: What happens after Bearagrees to take the top half?A13: Hare and his family plant, water, weed, and get ready to harvest the crops in Bear’s field. Bear sleeps through it all.
P293Q14: What might Bear getwhen Hare gives him the“tops”?A14: He will get a part of the crop that he cannot eat. Hare is going to get the better half.
P294Q15: What did Hare and hisfamily get? What did Bearget?A15: They got the carrots, the radishes, and the beets.Bear was left with useless parts.
P295Q16: How did Bear feel aboutgetting the tops? What did hedo?A16: He was angry and confused He didn’t want to be tricked again, so he asked for the bottoms next season.
P296Q17: After Bear goes back tosleep, what do Hare and hisfamily do?A17: They plant, water, and weed the growing crops.
P297Q18: What situation earlier inthe story is most like this one?What is different this time? A18: This is the second time Hare and his family grow crops while Bear sleeps. Both times, Hare wakes Bear up to say that it is time to share the crops. But before, Bear got the tops. Now, he is getting the bottoms.
P298Q19: What does Hare and hisfamily get this time?A19: They get the lettuce, the broccoli, and the celery.
P298Q20: What does Bear get thistime?A20: He gets the bottoms, some useless parts.
P298Q21: How does Bear feelabout getting the bottoms?How do you know?A21: He is angry. He scowls and says he has been cheated.
P299Q22: What has Hare done so far toget what he needs? Use details andinformation from the book tosupport your answer. A22: First, Hare plants crops that grow below the ground because Bear says he wants the tops. Then Hare plants crops that grow above the ground because Bear chooses the bottoms. Then Hare agrees to give Bear both the tops and the bottoms.
P299Q23: Will Bear get what hewants this time? Why do youthink so?
P300Q24: What happens after thecorn plants grow tall? A24: Hare and his family yank up the cornstalks. After that, Hare makes a pile of the roots and tassels for Bear. Then Hare sets aside the ears of corn for himself.
P301Q25: What does Bear decideto do as a result of this lastdeal? A25: He decides to plant his own crops so that he will not be cheated again. He will take the tops, bottoms, and middles for himself.
P302Q26: How has Bear changed bythe end of the story? How arethings different for Hare and hisfamily at the end? A26: Bear no longer sleeps instead of planting and harvesting. He does his own work and has learned not to be lazy. Hare has made enough profit from the crops he planted on Bear’s land to buy back his own land. They open a vegetable stand and have plenty to eat.
P303Q26: Why do they neverbecome business partnersagain?
Q1: How did Janet Stevens first get the idea to do a picture book about the Tops and Bottoms story? She asked the children’s librarian at her library about what kids like to read, and the librarian suggested this story.
Q2: Why do you think Janet Stevens chose a bear for the lazy character instead some other animal? Bears hibernate during the winter. They have slow, cumbersome walk.
Q3: What other animal did Janet “try out” before she settled on the bear and the hare as the main characters? She tried out a prairie dog, a fox, and a turtle.
Q4: Why did she decide the hare as the main character? Hare loses race which could be the reason that Hare doesn’t have any money.
Q5: Do you think her choiceof the bear and the hare as thecharacters worked for thisstory?