Posted on August 14th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Ben, the youngest of three children in his family, can’t swim yet, or use chopsticks, or see much out the car window. His fifth grader sister gets a report card with marks, and his third grader brother “gets comments for his subjects,” but Ben gets nothing. This leaves the preschooler feeling glum, until his siblings take him “into the office” to remedy one of the gaps. “They type on the computer. They print on the printer.” And then they issue him his own report card, awarding A+’s for his achievements, like “tooth brushing” and “shoe tying” and, most important, “making us laugh.” This sweet and charmingly illustrated book takes seriously a preschooler’s need to feel that he is not left behind, while wittily defusing the reverence for grading that’s been creeping into elementary school culture.”
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Posted in A+ for Big Ben | Tagged a+-for-big-ben, board-book, kim-la-fave, preschool, sarah-ellis, toddler
Posted on August 5th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Ben is not big. He is just a preschooler. His big sister, Robin, gets a report card in fifth grade, and his big brother Joe, in third grade, gets one, too. Ben feels more and more sad throughout the day when he keeps focusing on all the things his siblings can do that he cannot. That night, his siblings surprise him with a homemade report card, tracking all the things that Ben does best— like feeding the cat, whistling, and making others laugh. With encouraging comments and an A+ in all of his “subjects,” Ben goes to sleep feeling very proud for all that he can do. VERDICT Softly hued illustrations with crayon black outlines showcase a sweet family celebrating their abilities in this board book that is suited for shared reading, preferably while snuggled on someone’s lap.”
—Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Posted in A+ for Big Ben | Tagged a+-for-big-ben, board-book, kim-la-fave, preschool, Review, sarah-ellis, school-library-journal, slj
Posted on May 26th, 2015 by pajamapress
Despite the title, a boy named Ben is feeling anything but big—his older, school-age siblings get report cards, can swim, and have no trouble using chopsticks when the family goes out for dinner. Luckily, siblings Robin and Joe sense the preschooler’s unhappiness, and they create a report card just for Ben. His subjects include feeding the cat, shoe tying, and “making us laugh,” and he gets A-pluses across the board. Loosely defined by rough, crayonlike lines, LaFave’s images have a swoopy, gestural quality; like Ellis’s text, they take a minimalist approach to the range of emotions Ben is feeling, from jealousy to disappointment and pride. Ages 2–up.
Posted in A+ for Big Ben | Tagged board-book, preschool, publishers-weekly, pw, report-card, Review
Posted on April 20th, 2015 by pajamapress
Vancouver author Sarah Ellis is well-known for her books for young adults and intermediate readers. In A+ for Big Ben (Pajama Press, $10, board book) she has written a delightful story for youngest readers (ages 2-5)….
B.C. artist Kim La Fave has added large, colourful illustrations that help make this a book that will be a favourite with any child who wants to be “like the big guys.”
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Posted in A+ for Big Ben | Tagged a+-for-big-ben, board-book, helen-norrie, kim-la-fave, preschool, Review, sarah-ellis, winnipeg-free-press
Posted on April 20th, 2015 by pajamapress
Ben is too small for most of the things older sister Robin and older brother Joe enjoy. Too small for school, too small for swimming strokes or reading the menu in a restaurant. Even too small to see out the window in the car. The sensitivity of his siblings helps lift Ben out of the funk he is in. The pair create a report card for Ben, complete with letter grades and comments. The assessment? It’s an A+ for Ben in all of the special talents he contributes to the family: feeding the cat, shoe tying, tooth brushing and making family members laugh.
This delightful short book perfectly encapsulates the trials and tribulations of being the baby of the family, all the while showing the special regard held toward him by the rest of the family.
Thematic Links: Family; Siblings; Report Cards
Posted in A+ for Big Ben | Tagged a+-for-big-ben, board-book, kim-la-fave, preschool, resource-links, Review, sarah-ellis