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BRAVE BEN by Mathilde Stein


by Mathilde Stein & illustrated by Mies van Hout

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: March 31st, 2006
ISBN: 1-932425-64-0
Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

Young Ben gains confidence with the help of some enchanted forest creatures. A scary spook under the bed is just one of a catalogue of fears for plucky Ben and his playful white cat, always in tow. Ben consults the Yellow Pages for help and finds a Magic Tree ad—“Success guaranteed.” He makes an appointment for the following day. Muted watercolors full of quirky details depict Ben’s journey into the forest to meet the tree. On the way, Ben encounters (and copes with) a dragon, an enormous spider, a gnarly witch and a whirlwind of bats and bones. When he finally reaches the Magic Tree (who wears pince-nez and has a phone attached to his trunk and a pencil on a string dangling from a branch), Ben’s told what the savvy young listener already knows: His day’s adventure has proven him fearless. Wry, but unexceptional, text-heavy odyssey, with a nice lesson. (Picture book. 2-6)