Veitch invites readers to tag along with Ben on his worldwide adventures and learn some memory-enhancing techniques along the way.
Explorer Ben visits some amazing places, does some cool things, and sees some awesome sights, but he is rather accident- and loss-prone. Each adventure takes up two double-page spreads. On the first, readers are told where Ben is going, 10 things he is packing, a memory trick for remembering those 10 items, and an example of that technique in action. These mnemonic aids include, among others: creating a story, rhyme, or song; making a picture that includes all the items; imagining picking the items up in the rooms of your house; and acting out using the objects. The second spread shows what mishap befalls Ben, enumerates the objects he still has in his possession, and prompts readers to name what’s missing. Backmatter includes a final memory quiz and “Tips for Parents” about additional memory boosters. Beedie’s seemingly digital illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic. The items are easy to identify, and the vignette illustrations showing Ben’s misadventures picture some of the items to be remembered, making it a bit easier. Still, this is about mnemonics, not about logic: the hot air ballooning adventure includes eight items for a midair tea party.
Readers will enjoy the memory challenges, and many may well put the techniques that work best to use in their daily lives. (Picture book. 4-10)