Ben Says Goodbye

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Ben Says Goodbye

By Sarah Ellis
Illustrated by Kim La Fave
Picture Book Ages 3–6
ISBN: 978-1-927485-79-8
List Price: $18.95 CAD / $16.95 USD
HC with dust jacket
Trim Size: 25.4 x 20.32 cm / 10 x 8 inches
Pages: 32

Canadian Publication Date: October 1, 2015
U.S. Publication Date: February 26, 2016

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Rights Available: World ex. North America

When Ben’s best friend Peter moves away, how will the preschooler deal with his feelings of loss?

When Ben’s best friend Peter moves away, Ben decides that he will move, too—into a “cave” under the dining room table. Caveman Ben doesn’t need any friends except his tame (stuffed) lion. He hunts for his food (thoughtfully left on a plate by Mom and Dad) and communicates in grunts. And in the safety of his cave he can imagine a world where friends control their own destinies and distance is no obstacle.

Award-winning author-illustrator team Sarah Ellis and Kim La Fave have produced yet another book in which they gently guide Ben through an experience that is both familiar and daunting to preschoolers everywhere. Ellis’ text deftly taps into the thoughts and feelings of a young child, while La Fave’s endearing art captures both the depths of Ben’s dismay and the warmth of the family members who support him through his crisis. Young readers and listeners will celebrate with Ben as, having been given the space to work through his difficult feelings, he emerges from his cave ready to rejoin his family and look forward to new friendships.

Awards and Honours
2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
2015 Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection

“The upbeat…drawings, thickly outlined with an effect that looks like charcoal, neatly complement the simple, declarative text. “Any young child who has experienced the loss of a close friend will find this story resonant.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Ellis’s simple story catches the rhythms of moving and of grieving, while La Fave’s black crayon-like lines and minimal faces register the oversize worries a little guy can carry around.”—New York Times

“Ellis hits all the right notes in this sensitive text. Ben may not be able to talk through his downcast emotional state, but with his supportive family in the background, he works things out on his own. La Fave’s strong, expressive line drawings make the characters’ emotions easy to read….A satisfying picture book and a welcome sequel to Ben over Night.”—Booklist

“A gentle and age-appropriate reflection on loss.”—School Library Journal

“This caveboy doesn’t talk or brush his teeth, but he does draw a cathartic story about two “faraway” friends who meet at the center of the earth. Eventually, the smell of popcorn, along with his family’s love, draws him out…”—The Horn Book Magazine

“In Ben Says Goodbye,…loss is addressed with sensitivity and honesty. The book offers a wonderful tool for helping young children cope with this type of loss.”—Foreword Reviews

“ A useful and pitch-perfect story that allows kids to see hope in a bleak situation.”Quill & Quire

“Losing a friend to a move is a familiar experience for children and adults alike, and this story will resonate with readers…The text of the story is accessible and simple…The illustrations…strongly support the text… Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“This is an excellent resource to use in helping a young child through the difficult time of families moving from the neighbourhood….Highly recommended for parents, young children, classroom discussions, and story time.”—Resource Links

“The author offers a charming and delightful story in which a preschooler’s feelings and thoughts ring true. La Fave’s endearing softly-hued illustrations, accentuated by black outlines, accompany this gentle tale.”—Canadian Children’s Book News

“Sarah Ellis’s haunting language brings the story to life….A gentle story of change…”—Midwest Book Review

“I recommend this book for parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away. It shows the child taking some time to deal with his feelings and then the parents spending time with him….Teachers may want this book in their library to help students realize that new friends can appear at any time.”—Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center