- Age Range: 4 - 6 years
- Grade Level: Preschool and up
- Series: Benji
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Clavis (August 1, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605374032
- ISBN-13: 978-1605374031
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,571,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Benji and the Giant Kite Hardcover – August 1, 2018
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"Benji & the Giant Kite is a children’s book that comes as a breath of fresh air. It does everything that a children’s book should do." – Dragonfly Sweetness blog
"The life lessons are plainly articulated and you gather a sense of where each lesson will take you and why . ." – Growing with Grey blog
"This book has beautifully illustrated pages, with hidden treasures, including bumblebees, shells, and mice munching on blueberries." ―A Latte with Ott blog
"I love this book not only because it shares the wonderful message of working hard in life to get what you want, but also because in the end he realizes it’s okay to let go of things you love. Benji’s resilience in the book and him never giving up on his determination to fly kites, despite how many he has crashed, is inspiring.” ― Chaos in Mommyhood
“The enchanting story of a young boy who learns that possessing something is not quite as meaningful as letting it go.” ― Jinxy Kids
Praise for Alan C. Fox's Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash: "This story offers one child's particular experience of "garden to table" and may inspire other youngsters to try the same. Gratifying.” --Kirkus Reviews
"Especially notable." -- Booklist
“A delightful story that will teach children about love, patience, and perseverance! I highly recommend!” -- SoCalCityKids.com
"This book is a very cute introduction to gardening and showing kids the process of growing something from start to finish.”―Keri Gould, librarian, Fairfax County Library
"This garden-to-table story teaches children about patience, love, and perseverance." -- KARE TV, Minneapolis, MN
From the Author
When we were kids my brother and I loved to fly kites at the beach. There was a giant kite at the toy store that I wanted more than anything. With my modest allowance it would take me weeks to save enough money to buy the kite so I asked my mom for a loan. I remember how happy I was to bring that kite home from the store. I carefully assembled it, and then I had to wait patiently for the weekend to go to the beach. I flew that kite so high it was just a speck in the sky. I almost couldn’t see it. I wanted my kite to fly forever, so when my dad said we had to go home I let go of the string. I think maybe my giant kite is up there still.
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So one day, Benji's at the toy store with his mom and he spots a fantastic giant orange kite that he just *must* have. His mom reminds him that he's already spent his allowance, so he can't afford the kite. Benji, like all entrepreneurial kids, negotiates some garden-weeding in exchange for the kite.
So far, so good! After Benji finishes weeding, his mom gives him the kite. This is a great lesson! Things aren't free. You need to work for things you want. Special things might take more effort to attain. There's lots of great messaging here. Now that Benji has his dream kite, he heads to the beach with his dad and his little brother to fly that sucker.
Another great lesson happens, this time about sharing, as Benji shares the joy of flying the kite by giving his brother and father a turn. Everyone has a blast with the kite. And then it's the end of the day and Benji decides to let the kite go fly off into the sunset.
Wait, what? What kind of lesson is that? I mean it's littering for one and it's wasteful for another. I don't know many kids who would toil in the garden to finally get a kite that doesn't crash instantly only to give it up at the end of the day. I could have gotten behind this if Benji had decided to give the kite to some other kid on the beach to spread the joy even more. But this ending completely spoils the book for me.
This would have been a solid 4-star book for me, but that ending knocks off some points. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 for this sweet book with a silly ending.
Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis Publishing for providing me with a DRC of this book.
Benji loves kites, especially since he lives near the beach where the winds are often perfect for flying them. But every kite he buys at the toy store takes a crash dive before it can become a distant dot in the sky. Benji is determined to see a kite soar to new heights, and it's this determination which might help him finally achieve his dream.
Emotion packs these pages as readers and listeners accompany Benji on his mission to fly a kite high into the sky. The author runs through sad disappointment, hope, hard work, joy and leaves with an unexpected ending. The idea of flying a kite matches nicely to young listeners and will spark their own flying dreams. They'll easily understand Benji's disappointments and hopes. Benji's parents come into play not as opening all doors to him, but they gently leave the space he needs to fulfill the dreams on his own. This was a nice touch.
The illustrations are bright and cheerful. It's hard not to smile with Benji when his face lights up. The story can easily be followed even by those non-readers when they flip through the pages on their own.
An encouraging message holds through the entire book—dreams aren't always easily met but can be achieved and are worth it. But it doesn't stop there. The author adds a twist by lastly encouraging listeners to head for the next goal and not sit on one achievement. This ending met with mixed feelings from my children as it does hit a pinch of sadness. Food for thought is left, in any case, which opens up discussions—something I always find good. This isn't a story which will easily leave young listeners' minds.
I received a complimentary copy, and my children and I enjoyed the story enough to want to leave our honest thoughts.
"Benji loved purple skies, sunset skies, cloudy skies, blue skies, and kite skies.
Especially kite skies. "
He eagerly saves his allowance each week to purchase kites and twine at the local toy store in his town. Unfortunately each of those kites meet some dreadful fate forcing Benji to go back again and again for another one. Oh my!
One day while visiting the store with his mom he spots a HUGE orange, diamond-shaped kite and he knows he must have it. Mom reminds him that he has already spent his allowance and the kite is expensive so out-of-the question to buy. Determined to have it Benji volunteers to weed the garden to pay for the kite. Mom thinks that's a good idea and agrees to his offer. She buys the kite and tucks it away in the closet until Benji can gather enough "sweat equity" to pay off his debt.
After two weeks of garden-tending Benji gets his beloved kite and off he goes to the beach to fly it high into the sky.
It's refreshing (and important) to send a message to our kids that perseverance and hard work pays off. Mom is so right to teach Benji a valuable life lesson about working hard to achieve a goal and the joyous feeling that is brings once that goal is reached.
The illustrations are beautifully executed and power the simple text in the storyline. The surprise ending will generate some wonderful conversations about why Benji did what he did with his beloved kite. I like the book a lot and recommend it.