Saturday, March 21, 2020

Review - Same Way Ben

Same Way Ben
by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Date: 2019
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Ben likes things the same way every day at school—he sits at the same table, eats the same lunch, and likes the daily class routine. But when his teacher leaves to have her baby and a substitute teacher comes and changes everything, Ben gets upset. He liked everything the way it was before! But soon Ben starts to think differently about change and realizes that doing things another way can be fun.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a cute story about change and a little boy who thinks he's not quite ready to face it.

When Ben's teacher, Mrs. Garcia, goes on maternity leave, there are lots of changes in the classroom. Ben, who has always done things the same way every day, doesn't like it. He feels lost and confused and just wants things to go back to the way they were before. It takes a visit from his favourite teacher to help him see that change can be good. It's an adventure!

While I enjoyed this one, I think it has the potential to be a mismatch with certain audiences. Inability to handle change is a common trait among those on the autism spectrum, and I thought at first that perhaps Ben was autistic. The way he's treated by the teachers, however, kind of suggests that he's not. (Mr. Elliot, the substitute teacher, simply rams through his changes without any sort of concern for the kids' feelings. If Ben were actually autistic, Mr. Elliot would have--hopefully--been informed of this and been a little more accommodating.) Ben eventually embraces change--without being prompted to--so he's obviously just a kid who's gotten stuck in a bit of a rut. That's the audience... not kids on the spectrum whose parents are trying to find a weaselly way to get them to break out of their routines.

The pictures are pretty cute, and the story is simple but well-written. I enjoyed it, once I realized this wasn't a book about a kid who was going to be pushed beyond his limits.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment