Picture Book | 32 Pages
Reading age from 3 to 6
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.
Where did this book come from?
One of my favourite places as a kid was under the dining room table. I liked to watch tv from under there because the overhanging tablecloth provided a quick way to block out the screen if a program got scary. And while I was down there I also drew on the underside. It is particularly satisfying to draw with pencil on wood. So I sent my alter-ego Ben under the table to see what would happen and, lo and behold, I discovered that he was sad because his friend Peter (we met Peter in Ben Over Night) was moving away.
What do readers think?
Any young child who has experienced the loss of a close friend will find this story resonant.
Due to the nearly universal experience depicted of losing someone you care about to moving away, Ben Says Goodbye is a story that many readers will relate to. Equally important though is the quiet message to readers that you can remember a friend while still participating in your life and looking forward to making new friends and memories.
-Canadian Materials. (Highly recommended)
Ellis hits all the right notes in this sensitive text.