Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Monday, May 29, 2006



I have been slacking off this weekend because it was my birthday. And also I'm lazy. Today I'm reading the last in the Elizabeth Aston Darcy trilogy. Again, I'm not going to post about it, because though it is just as good (if not better) than the others, I have nothing exciting and new to say about it.

So instead I'll treat you to a wordless picture book. When I was little I had a wordless picture book that I loved. And I had a story all made up that went along with it. If any adults deviated from my set words, they were immediately corrected. That is pretty much the sum total of my experience with wordless books. I think, generally, that I am not really creative enough to deal with them. So when Ben's Big Dig came in a few months ago, I was wary. But I shouldn't have been.

The "story" is that Ben is driven rather unwillingly to visit an elderly female (grandmother? aunt? you decide!) who makes an insane number of pies. Really, there are pies on every available surface. Late at night, Ben can't sleep, so he decides to dig a hole in the ground out back, trusty sock monkey in tow. Ben digs and he digs, and finally, he hits something: water! Ben and various aquatic creatures shoot up through the hole making quite the mess. Fortunately, elderly lady is awake by this time, and she saves the day by blocking the giant hole with pies. Weird, eh?

Dirk van Stralen's illustrations add to the weird feel. For instance, Ben has no mouth until the last page, and his sock monkey always looks like he was off doing something suspicious, and just came back to sit unanimatedly in time for him to be drawn into the picture.

Although the basic story will stay the same, thanks to the pictures, the details will change from telling to telling in this wonderfully creative book. Unless you're reading to a tyrant like me.

Ben's Big Dig story Daniel Wakeman illustrated by Dirk van Stralen
ISBN 1551433842
32 pages

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