Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAs homey and comforting as the apple pie made by Ben's mother is this unassuming story about a persistent boy's game of hide and seek--soft-toned illustrations complete the inviting package. Ages 3-8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Susie WildeThere sometimes seems to be a lack of support for a mother who makes the decision to stay home and work. It's difficult to describe the ins and outs, ebbs and flows of days spent with children. Playful interaction and the frustrations of diverted actions often mark the day of mother and child. Russo captures this perfectly in Where is Ben? Ben continually interrupts his mother to participate in an on-going game of hide-and-seek while she is busy with pie making. Young listeners will be drawn into story and actively participate in trying to finding Ben in the illustrations. Mothers will recognize the familiar disarray caused by a young child who is actively and joyfully experiencing the comforts of his home.
School Library Journal`` `Mama, come find me,' '' calls Ben, and Mama, with unending patience, stops work on her apple pie and searches for her preschooler as he hides behind the coat rack, under the overturned laundry basket, or in the clothes closet. The flat, colorful gouache paintings make the shapes of the figures stand out as they bend to seek or crouch to hide. The text, with its recognizable call and responses of `` `Mama, come find me' '' and ``Where is Ben?,'' is also somewhat flat, but not unpleasant. Both characters and the dog display the same curved-mouth smiley face throughout, reflecting the mood of good-humored interaction. Nothing much happens here; Mother finishes the pie, and Ben eventually hides under the covers, ready for a nap, with the promise of apple pie when he wakes. Not a necessary purchase, but a pleasant slice of preschool life. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
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