Ben Says Goodbye by Sarah Ellis is a relatable book for many kids, and b/c kids go through this same situation this book has value. Kids will be able to read this book, and see how Ben and his family handle the situation of Ben's friend moving. Using books to help and for therapy of sort is called bibliotherapy.
Bibliotherapy can be powerful for little things, like not wanting to eat your green veggies (Pinkalicious), to big things, like losing a loved one. There are many books about many topics that are for more than just the fun of reading. These stories often pull double duty, entertain and support/teach/educate; however, a well written story often does.
Ben Says Goodbye gets 3.5 out of 5 stars in my book review. I really like the relatability of this story for kids. I have seen my daughter sad when her friend and our neighbor moved. I feel the page portrayed below is quite accurate depiction of the situation through a child's eyes. "Box after box" loaded into the truck and then when a new truck comes "Box after box" unloaded. I also really like the ending; I'm a sucker for happy endings. This sweet ending makes me happy.
However, there were a few things I didn't love. I didn't love the table/cave part of the book. Personally, I don't think it added anything to the story, but rather took away from it. I understand what the author was trying to portray (a child dealing with it his way on his terms), but I just think it ended up looking random and slightly weird. To be honest, the text, aka how well written it was, wasn't bad (there were some strong points) but it wasn't great either.
All in all, Ben Says Goodbye isn't an amazing book, but public and school libraries would benefit having it in their collections. This book definitely has value, but I wouldn't buy it for my personal library.
Amazon had the following book description to give you an idea of the storyline.
"When Ben’s best friend Peter moves away, Ben decides that he will move, too―into a “cave” under the kitchen 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."
Do you have a kid sad b/c of change, a friend moving, or the loss of a friendship? This would be a great book to read with them and then talk with them about if their feelings could be similar to Ben.
Happy Picture Book Reading on Loss, Change, and Moving!
I received this book from Myrick Marketing in exchange for my review and honest opinion. All of my thoughts, opinions, and words are my own.