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Ben Over Night
     

Ben Over Night

by Sarah Ellis, Kim LaFave (Illustrator)
 

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A 2006-2007 Chocolate Lily Book Award Nominee in the Picture Book category

Ontario Library Association Best Bets List 2005

Blue Spruce Award shortlist, 2005

Ben likes nothing more than to go over to Peter's house. When the two friends play together, Ben can be anything he wants: a pirate, a musician, a cook. He can even be a

Overview


A 2006-2007 Chocolate Lily Book Award Nominee in the Picture Book category

Ontario Library Association Best Bets List 2005

Blue Spruce Award shortlist, 2005

Ben likes nothing more than to go over to Peter's house. When the two friends play together, Ben can be anything he wants: a pirate, a musician, a cook. He can even be a potato! But when it comes to sleepovers, all Ben can think about is going home - right away. He doesn't like the strange bed or the unfamiliar noises in the night. And he doesn't have his own cat to warm his tummy.

Mum and Dad try to come up with some ideas, but flashlights and familiar blankets don't make Ben feel better. Joe offers to come along for protection, but Ben doesn't want his big brother going on sleepovers with him. It looks like Ben just can't be a sleepover-nighter. Or can he?

A delightful sequel to the bestseller Big Ben, this is the perfect book for preschoolers and beginner readers who are facing their own overnight challenges or have younger siblings who might need a little encouragement.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This dynamic author-illustrator team have produced a visually and emotionally striking picture book. Sarah Ellis' use of language is simple yet poignant. LaFave's use of bold colour and shapes creates images that leap off the pages, immediately captivating the reader.

"Few books deal so well with the issue of sleeping over night and the basic fears associated with this common practice. Ellis and LaFave show, with elegant simplicity, how a few clever ideas can help a child overcome his fears and "be" anything he wants."

Highly Recommended.

-- CM Magazine

"LaFave's bright, striking illustrations have black outlines and capture the exuberance of pretended play. . . The child-centred text makes this perfect for discussions of night time separation worries."

-- School Library Journal

"Familiar characters and a strangely common dilemma for many young children, this fine book allows them a chance to talk about their fears, and compare how Ben feels to what they also feel when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. "

-- Brandon Sun

"As with her first Ben book, Ellis shows her empathetic understanding of a preschooler's worldview. And illustrator Kim LaFave shows their vibrant energy."

-- City Parent

Publishers Weekly
Acknowledging that sleepovers can be difficult for some children, this thoughtful story addresses Ben's longing to spend the night at his best friend Peter's house across the street and the fears that prevent him from carrying out his wish. Ellis's text concisely leads into the dilemma: "Ben can be almost anything at Peter's house. He can be a pirate. He can be a musician. He can be a cook.... The one thing Ben can't be at Peter's house is a sleepover-nighter." LaFave (We'll All Go Sailing) paints cartoon-like characters with dot eyes and minimal props (drum-set, sandwich tray) in silhouette against pale washes or white background. By contrast, three scenes illustrating Ben's middle-of-the-night episodes ("There are strange night noises. There is no cat on his stomach") appear on full-bleed, cobalt blue and black spreads, effectively conveying the boy's anxiety. Ben's parents are patient and encouraging, and his sister helps him come up with a way to assuage his fears. The story ends on the morning after a successful sleepover, with the words, "Ben can be anything at Peter's house." Compassionate and optimistic, this story may well help others in the hero's predicament to solve their problem. Ages 5-7. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sleeping over a friend's house is one of the joys of childhood. Unfortunately, for some children, this experience can be somewhat scary. In this heartwarming picture book, a young boy named Ben loves going over his best friend Peter's house to play games, make delicious snacks, and watch their favorite television shows. However, when it comes to the sleeping over part, he wakes up in the middle of the night, gets frightened by the strange surroundings, and cries to go home. Everyone in Ben's family offers him useful advice for having a successful sleepover experience—his mother tells him to bring a flashlight, his father says to take his favorite blanket, and his brother Joe suggests taking him along as a protector. Ben is almost ready to give up on being a sleepover-nighter, when his sister Robin asks him to think about the fastest way to get from Peter's house to their house. He thinks about this question, and the next time he is invited to sleepover at Peter's house, he accepts the invitation and quickly discovers that "dreaming" is the fastest way home. After one successful sleepover, Ben builds his confidence and starts to feel invincible. Young readers will definitely cheer along with Ben as he overcomes his fears. They will also enjoy the colorful, humorous illustrations and the well-written text. This book makes a wonderful selection for bibliotherapy. Parents, educators and librarians can use this picture book on an individual basis with children or in a large group read-aloud setting. 2005, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ages 5 to 8.
—Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
PreS-K-At his friend Peter's house, Ben can be a pirate, musician, cook, couch potato, or "almost anything." However, the preschooler's fears prevent him from being a "sleepover-nighter." Even with the familiarity of his favorite blanket, he starts to cry when he wakes up in the middle of the night. His older sister encourages him to use his imagination to answer the question, "What's the fastest way to get from Peter's house to our house?" The next time Ben tries sleeping over, he finds comfort in the dark by pretending to be "Marathon Ben," "Race car Ben," and "Bird Ben." Soon "Snooze-Boy Ben" is "dreaming himself home." LaFave's bright, striking illustrations have black outlines and capture the exuberance of pretend play. The final page shows Ben as a "fierce, over-nighter jungle beast," and he triumphantly poses with pajamas on his head. The child-centered text makes this perfect for discussions of nighttime separation worries.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550418071
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
03/03/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.26(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
Up to 5 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Sarah Ellis grew up in a family that loved to share stories and read books. Passions that lead her to become a children's librarian and eventually to start writing books herself. Ellis's awards include the Governor General's Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. She lives in Vancouver, B.C.

Award-winning illustrator Kim LaFave has illustrated many books for children including Big Ben, We'll All Go Sailing, We'll All Go Flying and the early readers Emma's Emu, Andrew's Magnificent Mountain of Mittens and Andrew - Catch That Cat!. Kim lives with his family in Roberts Creek, British Columbia.

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