Cover image for The big brown box
The big brown box
Russo, Marisabina.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
As he plays in a very large box in his room and turns it into a house, then a cave, then a boat, Sam is reluctant to let his little brother Ben join him, but then he finds the perfect way for them to share.
Reading Level:
290 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 41026.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 2 Quiz: 27909 Guided reading level: J.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
Grand Island Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



It's a big brown box! Or maybe it's a house with windows and a door. Or a cozy, dark cave. Or a ship on the ocean. But whatever it is, Sam's box is no place for baby brother Ben.

There's BIG trouble brewing over the big brown box...until Mama finds a solution that's a perfect fit for everyone.

Children's Books 2000-NY Public Lib.

Author Notes

Marisabina Russo is a children's book author and illustrator. She has written and illustrated over twenty books for children and young adults. Her most notable books include The Line Up Book (winner of the IRA Children¿s Book Award) and Always Remember Me (an ALA Notable Book). She was born in New York, New York and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with BA in Studio Art in 1971. She began her career as a freelance illustrator. Her work appeared frequently in The New Yorker and included several covers. She then went on to illustrate a book of poetry for children, Vacation Time by Nikki Giovanni. She started publishing her own stories with Greenwillow Books in 1986. Russo¿s books come from her childhood memories and her experiences as a mother. Her illustrations, painted in gouache, are colorful and two-dimensional, reminiscent of folk art. Ms. Russo has also written young adult novels.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. With humor but no condescension, Russo captures the preschooler's intense daily drama. Sam takes a big, brown box to his room and makes it a house, a cave, a boat. But his game is interrupted by his little brother, Ben, who wants to join in. "Go away!" says Sam, who sees his pesky toddler Ben as the big bad wolf; the scary, hairy bear; and the vicious silver shark. Then Mama gives Ben his own box, a smaller one, and the two children play spaceships together. The bright, clear gouache pictures depict the joyful imaginative play and the sibling rivalry, showing the changing perspectives both inside and outside the box. In funny contrast are the scratchy images of the big bad wolf and the other monsters that Sam imagines his tearful, persistent little brother to be. Both younger and older siblings will enjoy the last page, when the boys are having lunch and arguing again over who gets which cupcake. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Sam's favorite toy is a big cardboard box that he imaginatively turns into a house, a cave, and a boat. His little brother Ben wants to join in the fun but his pleas of "Me too" are flatly refused: "You are the big bad wolf.-Leave my house alone!" "You are a scary, hairy bear, and bears don't belong in my cave." "You are a vicious silver shark, and you will eat me if I let you in." When Mama finds a smaller box for Ben, Sam has a new idea and the two brothers become astronauts, each in his own spaceship. The well-paced, child-centered text is complemented by Russo's trademark two-dimensional gouache illustrations that realistically capture the creative play of children. Young readers will relate to the sibling conflict and the resolution warmly encourages cooperation. A lovely addition to all collections.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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