Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book Review: Ben and Me by Robert Lawson

I just love rereading these childhood favorites! Another one that was as good as I remember (if, as always, much shorter.)
Amos, Ben Franklin's brilliant mouse friend, is partially (or wholly responsible in some cases) for many of Mr. Franklin's accomplishments, from the Franklin stove to his experiments with electricity to his negotiating with France for loans to finance the American revolution. In most of the book Amos is a participant or bystander when Mr. Franklin does things but at the end of the book, in France, he becomes friends with a female mouse whose husband has already emigrated to America, and whose children are being held captive under the chair of the Queen of France, and Amos orchestrates their daring rescue (while unintentionally humiliating Ben Franklin who decides to return to the U.S.)
Robert Lawson's intricate illustrations are fantastic as always. The detail is incredible while the historical accuracy seems spot-on. The language is not as historically accurate which is good for the audience, but it is stilted just enough to imply an "olden times" atmosphere without losing any readability or understanding. This is a cute introduction to a fascinating historical figure who had an enormous impact on America as we know it. Telling the story through the clever and yet occasionally grumpy character of Amos the mouse, makes it much more accessible and fun for children who might otherwise be put off by a straightforward Ben Franklin biography.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.


Alyce said...

This is a new book to me. It looks cute and educational!

Julie P. said...

Here is PA, we are big Ben Franklin fans. This sounds adorable!