Ben Rides On

Ben Rides On

by Matt Davies
     
 

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Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger.

Will Ben ever be able to get

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Overview

Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger.

Will Ben ever be able to get his bike back?

Find out in this hilarious and tender tale by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

A Neal Porter Book

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Pamela Paul
Full of warmth, humor and a welcome lesson about bullies…
Publishers Weekly
Illustration comes naturally to Davies—his editorial cartoons won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2004—and this satisfying tale of a boy, his beloved bicycle, and the bully who steals it is a fine debut. When the marvelously lunkheaded Adrian Underbite takes Ben’s bicycle for a joyride and hurtles off a cliff, Ben leans over the edge and sees Adrian clinging to a tiny branch. “How extraordinarily terrible,” Ben thinks, though his toothy grin conveys quite another emotion. But Ben’s conscience smites him, and he goes back to rescue Adrian with results that blend decency and humor. Davies’s figures have string-bean bodies and bobbly heads, and they dash headlong through the spreads. A crow sidekick provides extra mirth: “Hauling the big galoot proved to be a challenge,” Davies writes about the cliff rescue, “but Ben pulled Adrian to safety (with some help from a friend).” The crow appears next to Ben, pulling for all it’s worth; after its magnificent exertion, it topples over, exhausted. A story about doing the right thing that pumps up the laughs and evades smarminess. Ages 4–7. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (May)
The New York Times

Full of warmth, humor and a welcome lesson about bullies, Davies's debut cries out for a follow-up.
BCCB

Davies is a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, and his style carries over to the book: scratchy and unruly pen drawings with scribbled details and shading that often burst from their outlines are filled in with pale watercolors.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Ben loves riding to school the long way on "the bicycle of his dreams." But he hates arriving there, where the bully Adrian Underbite takes his bike and rides off on it. After school, seeking revenge, Ben discovers his battered bike up in a tree and Adrian, "...in a significant spot of trouble," hanging from a branch over a cliff. At first Ben smiles, rescues his bike, and leaves Adrian dangling. But then he stops, goes back, and hauls Adrian up. To Ben's shocked surprise, Adrian proceeds to go off with the bike. A bigger surprise awaits him the next day. Cartoon-y black ink drawings of boy and bike, touched lightly with watercolors, on the jacket/cover are convincing visualizations of the emotions as we see Ben literally flying. His adventures on the long way to school add a significant raggedy crow, a row of school buses to jump, and even shark fins. Then he encounters Adrian, an exaggerated mass of nastiness. There is a moral in the happy ending. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—"Now that he had the bicycle of his dreams, Ben Lukin loved going to school." And what adventures he has en route: tunneling through water pipes, zipping over aqueducts, leaping over a stream bed filled with sharks. Does this sound like a circuitous route to class? You bet it is. Once he arrives at Watson Elementary, Ben must face Adrian Underbite, world's largest third grader. This witty and wonderful story revolves around Ben, Adrian, and Ben's bike and has a lot to say-in sometimes delightfully sophisticated words-about bullying, charity, and redemption. Davies's cartoons are simply the bees' knees. Facial expressions, gestures, postures, perspectives: all conspire, with a ragged, raucous elegance, to make Ben Rides On an exceptional, and exceptionally likable, tale.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Young readers and listeners will feel like cheering when this unprepossessing hero gets his due. Davies' signature caricature art lends itself perfectly to an exaggerated visual accompaniment for this earnest, simple and sweet tale of a boy, his bike and a bully. Ben's great new bike takes him by any route he likes to school, including the long one over hill and dale, hopping across a stream on the heads of what look like sharks, leaping a line of school buses. But, alas, arrival at school only means that Adrian Underbite ("perhaps the world's largest third-grader") makes off with Ben's bike. When Ben later finds Adrian in "a significant spot of trouble," both readers and Ben may find that doing the right thing is not the first thought that comes to mind. "How extraordinarily terrible," Ben muses sardonically. There are a few tense moments in the brief narrative when it seems that no good deed will go unpunished, but a familiar story emerges--spoiler here: A bully has a change of heart--and it becomes astonishingly fresh and fun in Davies' hands. Davies' cheeky, cheerfully frayed line gives readers figures somewhat larger than life--and indeed twice as natural. Ben's hasty, heroic hoodie rescue is dramatic and funny, and the last line and accompanying illustration will provoke out-loud laughter. Great amusement for the bold and timid alike. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596437944
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
05/21/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
436,663
Product dimensions:
8.84(w) x 11.16(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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