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BENJAMIN’S TREASURE by Garth Williams

BENJAMIN’S TREASURE

By Garth Williams (Author) , Garth Williams (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028740-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

In 1951, beloved illustrator Williams (Stuart Little, Bedtime for Frances, the Little House books) published a novel called The Adventures of Benjamin Pink. Rosemary Wells has colored reproductions of the original black-and-white illustrations, using paints available in the ’50s in a palette from Williams’s own work. This episode has text that has been abridged for a picture-book format and the result is old-fashioned, but charming. On a clear morning, bunny Benjamin Pink decides it is a perfect day for fishing, and off he goes, waving to his wife Emily. But the day clouds over, a storm comes up, and Benjamin finds himself shipwrecked on a desert island. Lo! He finds a pirates’ buried treasure chest. He meets a turtle named Theodore, and, over mint tea and berries, they try to work out a way of getting Benjamin, and the treasure, home. Benjamin builds a raft, the turtle enlists his friend the porpoise, but another storm comes up, and our bunny hero finds himself without a ride and on the wrong island, with the treasure in the hands of monkeys. He starts over, is towed home by a shark, and finds his Emily waiting. There’s still a pearl in his ear left over from his adventures, but he tells Emily that she’s his true treasure. While the story is a bit forced, the images are vintage Williams, warm and fuzzy and just right. (Picture book. 4-8)