It’s Friday, so here’s my Perfect Picture Book Friday choice:
Ben Rides On
Author and Illustrator Matt Davies
A Neal Porter Book, 2013
Suitable for ages: 2 and up
Themes/Topics: Bullying, Doing the Right Thing, Bicycles
Opening line: Now that he had the bicycle of his dreams, Ben Lukin loved going to school.
Synopsis from Amazon: Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger.
Will Ben ever be able to get his bike back?
Link to resources: Teaching Students to Prevent Bullying. Here’s a Pinterest board on anti-bullying lessons and crafts. Here are tips on teaching a child how to ride a bike.
Why I like this book: The simple text shares a fun story with a lot of imagination. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see the pages on his very, very long way to school. Ben rightfully is angry when something happens at the hands of a bully, but in the end he does the right thing. I laughed out loud at some of Ben’s thoughts. This adult reader was amused.
There is a disclaimer on the copyright page saying “In books, kids can do crazy things, like haul Adrian Underbite up a cliff and ride a bicycle without protecting their heads. In real life, you should always remember to wear your helmet when riding your bike.”
Matt Davies is a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. I found this interesting interview about Ben’s bike.
For more PPBF selections, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.
Hope everyone has a great weekend. We’re off to see the Catching Fire movie on Saturday. Yay for Suzanne Collins’ great Hunger Games series; Hubby, who wants to watch it too; babysitters; and restaurants!
The disclaimer is a really interesting idea…can’t think of any other book that uses something like that!
Stacy S. Jensen says
Cathy, I posted this question in two FB groups and have a handful to find at the library now. I know one of the Mouse cookie recipe books mentions not cooking without a parent … I’ve decided to write myself a disclaimer, so I can revise a story and ditch the parents. We’ll see how that works out. 🙂
This looks really cute. That Ben looks like a wild one, but doesn’t sound like one so much. Interesting interview with Mr Davies. I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks!
It’s a fun one.
Joanne Roberts says
I’m glad to see we, as pb creators, can actually use our imaginations (disclaimer or not)
Yes. Disclaimer or not!
Robyn Campbell (@authorswrite) says
Great disclaimer. I believe it’s needed. I have a Ben so this interests me. Only my Ben is 13. Ha. But will be sure to read this one. Loved the interview on Ben’s bike. You rock, Stac. Happy Thanksgiving and have fun at Catching Fire. Ivy wants to see it too. I’d rather be here with Christopher. Maybe hubby will take her and Ben. Hugs and loves.
I read PBs all the time and don’t think about a disclaimer. Of course, there is a “rescue” scene in this book and Enzo asked me to help him like Ben does in the book … ah, the things he picks up on now. Fun times ahead. I hope Ivy and Ben get to see the movie when they can. It’s a rare thing that we go out on an opening weekend.
Jarm Del Boccio says
This is an interesting twist on the bullying topic. . .thanks for sharing it, Stacy!
The ending is surprising, but worth reading over and over.
mike allegra says
Now I want to write a book that requires a disclaimer… Let me think…
Me too Mike!
As long as he thinks adults should wear helmets too – otherwise what’s the point of the message! Sorry – just another girl from Biker Town, USA.
I understand. I enjoyed the book and think in many ways … it could go without a disclaimer. I mean, he does an Evel Knievel-type stunt on the way to school and most people – young and old- would doubt this possible before the school day. We all know stunts are reserved for the way home, right?
Erik - This Kid Reviews Books says
Have fun at the movie! I want to read the books. 🙂 Great PPBF choice too! 😀
It was a fun movie to watch. As I understand the books are middle grade level, but it certainly is a tough topic with violence, etc.
Sue Wang says
Bullying unfortunately can start early in a group. That’s great that the book addresses this issue. I like the disclaimer about wearing helmets, though now I wonder how would the illustrator paint the kids on bikes…. <3
Yes. They are fun illustrations. A helmet would have been fine in the illustrations in my opinion. I think I’ve mentioned that the very, very long way to school illustration is fun and well, a helmet wouldn’t make that one less believable to a parent. Of course, I love the possibilities in this book.
Patricia Tilton says
This is a different twist on bullying books. I like that Ben deals with the situation. The disclaimer puzzles me.
I know I’ve never noticed them in picture books. 🙂
Teresa Robeson says
Aha! That’s where the disclaimer discussion came from. 🙂 I think it’s cute and necessary in this context though in an adult situation (like cautioning people that a cup of coffee might be very hot) is kind of sad.
I really want to read this to see how the issue is resolved!
I’m sure there is a book already filled with disclaimers. 🙂
Hah, the disclaimer makes this adult want to read the book.
It’s a fun book Joanna! I’ve been grabbing it for bedtime reading every night.