Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You will love this book!

Want to read a sweet story to your child with a happy ending? One that will teach empathy and compassion? One that is tender-hearted and just good for your soul? Well this book is for you.

It is the end of the school year, exams are happening and the dreaded report card is almost a reality. To-day's book is called, "Big Ben." The author is Sarah Ellis and the Illustrator is Kim LaFave. It is recommended for Pre-School to Grade One.
Ben is the youngest of three. His sister Robin and his brother Joe have received their reports and mom and dad are beaming. The good grades and positive teacher comments compel the parents to showcase these reports on the family fridge so everyone can see how proud they are of their kids. Little Ben though sees this act by his parents in an entirely different light. There are no report cards in pre-school. He notices that he is too small to swim, eat with chopsticks, or even see out of the backseat of the car when they are driving along. He feels bad about his shortcomings and it affects his usual cheery moral.
His siblings see and feel his dilemma. THey jump in to save their little brother from himself. They go the computer and create a special report card just for Ben. They point out that he is good at feeding the cat, shoe-tying, toothing brushing and making them laugh. They give him straight A's in all his subjects plus very positive comments to back those marks up. They deliver this surprise to Ben just before bedtime and give their little brother this gift which greatly boosts his moral.
The illustrations are expressive, outlined in strong black lines with mutted colours against a white background. They add much enrichment to the text.
How fun to put this little book's idea into practice. If you have little one in the same birth order try making him/her a report card. Decide what he is good and at the give him high marks with positive comments to back up your thinking. Place that report card on your fridge and show it off to everyone who comes through your kitchen. Watch your little one's self esteem climb and become more independent because of his/her report card.

About Sarah Ellis the author:
Place of birth: Vancouver, British Columbia
Place of residence: Vancouver, British Columbia
In her adult life, Sarah Ellis has been a librarian, book reviewer, columnist, story-teller, teacher of children’s literature and an award-winning children’s author. Her novels take place in Vancouver where she has lived most of her life. Many of the events in her stories had their genesis in her memories and musings about the people and places which were part of her childhood. A quiet youngster, she grew up in a family which loved to share stories and read books. Although she didn’t think about becoming a writer, her love of reading led her to study librarianship and, later, children’s literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Simmons College in Boston. When she began her first novel, she didn’t tell anyone what she was doing. Now, with six successful books to her credit, she considers herself “mostly a writer”.
1987 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Book Prize for The Baby Project.
1992 Governor General’s Literary Award / Children’s Literature (for best text) for Pick-Up Sticks.
1994 Mr. Christie’s Book Award (for best English book age 12 and over) for Out of the Blue.
1995 National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award for Out of the Blue.
1995 Vicky Metcalf Award (for an author’s body of work).

Highly recommended. Read on.
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