Ellis and LaFave’s charming Big Ben (2001) is adapted into a board-book format.
Parents of babies and toddlers will wonder why, as neither the text nor the subject matter (young Ben wants a report card, just like his older siblings) reflects the interests or concerns of the audience that board books are designed for. A preschooler like Ben, who is able to whistle and tie his own shoes, is also old enough to turn the pages of a regular picture book. Simple illustrations designed to emulate a preschooler's crayon drawings are not enough to make this text-heavy story appropriate for a toddler. These drawings, arranged on comfortable expanses of white space in the original book, are crammed into the smaller trim size. Imprecise language will confuse toddlers. For example, at one point the text reads, “Ben is too little to see.” Actually Ben can see just fine—he just can't see out the window.
A+ for Big Ben earns only a C-. (Board book. 2-3)