Come Back, Ben


A house has a face, hills change their shapes, a rainbow reverses its colors, and a balloon takes a boy to the moon. The day is full of surprises!

"Bye, Ben," says his sister as Ben's red balloon takes him up, up, up . . . past bees in a tree, a kite on the big hill, and a rainbow in the clouds. When Ben finally reaches the moon, he puts moon rocks in his pockets and comes ...

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A house has a face, hills change their shapes, a rainbow reverses its colors, and a balloon takes a boy to the moon. The day is full of surprises!

"Bye, Ben," says his sister as Ben's red balloon takes him up, up, up . . . past bees in a tree, a kite on the big hill, and a rainbow in the clouds. When Ben finally reaches the moon, he puts moon rocks in his pockets and comes down again. Now the rainbow, the hill, the kite, the tree, and the bees all wear happy faces. And it's his sister's turn!

Colorful cut-paper-and-ink artwork holds humorous surprises for the observant reader. All objects have life and are subject to change, underscoring Ben's sense of joy and wonder.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Ben's bright red balloon lifts him into the air as his sister waves and says, "Bye, Ben." Smiling and looking up, he floats past the window, the bees, the tree, the kite, and the hill, each of which exhorts, "Come back, Ben." On he goes, past the rain and the rainbow, all the way to the full moon, which greets him: "Hi, Ben." Ben puts moon rocks in his pockets (leaving the moon a crescent-shaped), and the weight helps him begin his descent past everything and back through the window of his house. Up goes Ben's balloon again, this time carrying his sister away! Ann Hassett's simple, matter-of-fact text transports Ben and readers on a magical journey, full of joy and wonder. There is no fear here; Ben's house remains in view until he reaches the moon, and he smiles throughout the trip. The easy, repetitive text in this "I Like to Read" book will give new readers confidence as they soar through the words. John Hassett's brightly-colored collage-and-ink illustrations are as simple as the text, yet also filled with vivacity. The window, the bees, the tree, and even the raindrops each wear the same expression—simple dots for eyes and nose with a wide-open mouth—and convey a lively surprise more than concern. The title page is filled with bright red and blue, offering a wonderful perspective of Ben on his way through the clouds. A smiling Saturn on the preceding page gives readers a slight clue about where Ben is headed. Young readers will be curious about where Ben is going, eagerly but thoughtfully turn each page, and long for their own wondrous adventure. Educators can use this as a springboard for writing or science (float and sink or astronomy) or readers' theatre. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This terrific beginning reader is imaginative, funny, and charming. The text is predictable and accessible, and the cut-paper and ink art matches it perfectly. Happy-go-lucky Ben has a balloon that lifts him up and off the page. With a smile on her face, Ben's sister says, "Bye, Ben" as if it is the most ordinary, everyday occurrence to see your brother carried away. As Ben begins his ascent, the window bids him "Come back, Ben," as do the bees, the trees, the kite, the hill, and many more "friends." There is no alarm in the request; they just want their boy back. When the child reaches the Moon, he cleverly arranges his descent and down he comes, past all of the friends who await his return. It is when Ben and balloon return home that the real surprise comes and it will absolutely tickle young readers. Children will want to read this one again and again. A must-have for both classrooms and libraries.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
This excellent early reader will send new readers' confidence soaring. "Ben had a balloon," begins the spare text, accompanied by a picture rendered in cut paper and ink showing Ben holding a red balloon aloft. The next spread shows only the lower portion of Ben's body at the top of the page as his sister, standing on the ground below him, says, "Bye, Ben." Ensuing pages show Ben soaring higher and higher up into the sky as first a window, then bees, a tree, a kite, a big hill, rain and a rainbow all call out, "Come back, Ben." The repetitive text will reinforce new readers' engagement, while Ben's consistent smile (a simple, small u shape) provides reassurance that he is untroubled by his ascent into the sky--even when he reaches a smiling moon who says, "Hi, Ben." Ben collects moon rocks in his pockets, and their weight triggers his descent back to Earth, past all of the things that called to him as he rose up to the heavens. When he returns to his home, art on the penultimate spread shows Ben waving from his window, "Bye, balloon," he calls, but the balloon is absent from the page. A supremely satisfying page-turn shows Ben's sister sailing upward while holding onto the balloon's string. "Bye, Ben," she calls. Hello, Ben! We're glad you're here. (Early reader. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823425990
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2013
  • Pages: 26
  • Sales rank: 1,412,734
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 10.07 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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