As it has for the past 25 or so years, the children’s book Tops and Bottoms is delighting readers with minds dirtier than your average vegetable garden. Yes, the book features a bear, and no, not that kind of bear.
According to author Janet Stevens, who won a Caldecott Honor award for the book, Tops and Bottoms is a “retelling of the classic tale of wily Hare tricking lazy Bear into giving up half the crops, be it the top, or the bottom.”
Of course, the terms “tops” and “bottoms” have different meanings to some of us.
“My favorite children’s book,” Reddit user 7and2make10 wrote recently, posting an image of the book cover in the r/gay forum.
(“I remember when the librarian read that book to my whole kindergarten class,” replied one commenter.)
A simple Twitter search reveals that people have been joking about this title for years now:
There is a children’s book called Tops and Bottoms and I am dying
— Whitney Hoiston (@ITSYOURDESTINI1) January 16, 2018
Somebody just asked if we had a children's book called" tops and bottoms" …lol
— My love, Isobel. (@ryanlittleroot) August 29, 2015
Today my teacher asked, "Have you ever heard of the children's book Tops and Bottoms?" and she looked http://t.co/7y4M0M7XAs.
— Colton Cumbie (@ColtonCumbie) March 19, 2014
I don't think "Tops and Bottoms" is an appropriate title for a children's book. #ofcourseiamaperv
— Louise Carroll (@punchylibrarian) July 3, 2010
I can't wait for the movie. RT @blairnelson: is it wrong that i'm very amused that there is a children's book called "tops and bottoms"?
— Lukas Thoms (@LukasThoms) July 16, 2009
Or take this 2015 review from Slate:
“I don’t know about kids, but I know that I really like the cover for this book, which features an ascot-festooned Mr. Bear looking rather exhausted in his porch chair, his rear end pointed toward the heavens. Mr. Hare, on the other hand, is wide-awake, sporting a festive gardening shirt and gripping a firm, girthy ear of corn. … I do, however, wish that Stevens had recognized that vegetables need not be so crudely divided—tops or bottoms may be preferred on a given evening, but there’s versatility in all the parts.”
Of course, Amazon also sells the very adult books Tops and Bottoms Switching It Up: Intense Gay Erotica Collection and Chad & Charlie: Every Top Needs a Bottom.
So whether you’re looking for stories about 🍆 or stories about, you know, actual vegetables, there’s a book for you!