Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and twenty-nine

For some children having a sleepover at a friend's house is a rather frightening prospect. Their parents are far away, they are in a strange bed in a strange room, and they hear noises that are unfamiliar. Today's picture book tells the story of one little boy's sleepover fears and how he overcomes them. I have a feeling that Ben's story might help other children deal with their sleepover worries.

Sarah Ellis
Illustrated by Kim LaFave
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005, 1-55041-910-2
   Ben and Peter are neighbors and they are the best of friends. When Ben is over at Peter’s house he can be “almost anything.” He can be a pirate, a musician, a cook, a couch potato who watches TV, and so much more. There is one thing that he cannot be, and that is a “sleepover-nighter.”
   Every time Ben tries to spend the night at Peter’s house he gets homesick and he starts to cry. The only solution then is for Ben’s parents to come and get him. Ben takes a flashlight and a blankey the next time he tries to have a sleepover at Peter’s, but that doesn’t work either. Ben’s big brother Joe offers go with him, but Ben doesn’t want to do that. Perhaps a sleepover at Peter’s house just isn’t going to be possible after all.
   In this clever picture book Sarah Ellis addresses a problem that many children struggle with. It is not easy to spend the night in a strange house when you are a small child, and Sarah Ellis presents Ben’s difficulties with sensitivity and warmth.
   Children experiencing their own version of sleepoveritis are sure to find this story comforting and supportive. 

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