Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ben Over Night

Ben Over Night

Sarah Ellis
Illustrator:  Kim LaFave 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005   ISBN: 1550419102

Ben and Peter are neighbors and they are the best of friends. When Ben is over at Peter’s house he can be “almost anything.” He can be a pirate, a musician, a cook, a couch potato who watches TV, and so much more. There is one thing that he cannot be, and that is a “sleepover-nighter.”

Every time Ben tries to spend the night at Peter’s house he gets homesick and he starts to cry. The only solution then is for Ben’s parents to come and get him. Ben takes a flashlight and a blankey the next time he tries to have a sleepover at Peter’s, but that doesn’t work either. Ben’s big brother Joe offers go with him, but Ben doesn’t want to do that. Perhaps a sleepover at Peter’s house just isn’t going to be possible after all.

In this clever picture book Sarah Ellis addresses a problem that many children struggle with. It is not easy to spend the night in a strange house when you are a small child, and Sarah Ellis presents Ben’s difficulties with sensitivity and warmth.

Children experiencing their own version of sleepoveritis are sure to find this story comforting and supportive.