Ben and the scaredy-dog

Sarah Ellis, 1952-

Book - 2018

New neighbors are moving in across the street, and Ben can't wait to go say hello and make friends. That is, until he notices that this family has a pet dog. Ben isn't so sure around dogs. The big jaws and big teeth make him nervous. But what Ben doesn't realize is that Max is an "old scaredy-dog" who feels nervous too. Can Ben overcome his fear and come to see eye-to-eye with a new kind of friend?

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Picture books
Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Pajama Press 2018.
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Main Author
Sarah Ellis, 1952- (author)
Other Authors
Kim LaFave (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

When Ben meets Erv, the new kid across the street, he likes her right away, but her hefty pet, Max, triggers his fears: Big dog. Big jaws. Big teeth. In Erv's playroom, Max sits on a bath mat watching the children build with blocks. Kissing Max on the nose and calling him an old scaredy-dog, Erv explains that he's afraid to step on the shiny floor. When her mom calls her away, Ben hears the tickety-tick sound of Max's toenails hitting the floor. Increasingly anxious, he hums nervously until he feels Max leaning against him. Gradually, Ben relaxes and befriends the fearful dog. This picture book dovetails nicely with the anxiety theme in Ben Overnight (2005) as well as events in Ben Says Goodbye (2016), in which the boy's best friend moves away. The precisely worded text uses dialogue well while revealing Ben's thoughts through the concise narration. The artwork expresses Ben's emotions with finesse and captures the story's gentle humor. A fine read-aloud choice, this Canadian picture book will have broad appeal for young children.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Ben watches through his window as a new family moves in across the street and can hardly believe his luck when he sees a kid his age. "Maybe a friend?" he thinks, but this notion vanishes when he notices that the kid has a dog: "A big dog. Big jaws. Big teeth." Ben and Erv (short for Minerva) do become friends, but Ben is nervous when he is invited over to Erv's house, where the dog, Max, would be off a leash. When Ben learns that Max is uneasy about his new abode (and afraid of the shiny floors of the playroom), Ben nearly forgets about his fear, and in a triumphant turn of events, the scaredy-dog and dog-fearing boy become brave allies and buddies. Emphasized in thick, crayonlike outlines, the soft, cartoon illustrations add comfort and charm to this encouraging, gentle narrative about a common childhood fear. VERDICT This compassionate story may ease some anxiety in young children who are nervous or fearful around dogs. A warmhearted addition to Ellis and LaFave's books about Ben.-Brianne Colombo, Fairfield Free Public Library, NJ © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

[Books by Horn Book reviewers are not reviewed; we provide notice of publication and descriptive comment.] Ben is happy that a new kid is moving in across the street--but uh-oh: Minerva has a dog, and Ben is not a fan of the species. When Ben looks at a dog he sees jaws and teeth. Thats a dog to Ben. Jaws and teeth. It takes Ben discovering that dogs can be scared, too, to find himself with two new friends. Cartoon illustrations, large print, and plenty of white space recommend this to new readers as well as the read-to. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A young boy named Ben makes a new friend and conquers his fear of dogs in this latest offering in a series about learning to deal with new experiences.In the previous entry in the series, Ben Says Goodbye (2016), the boy had to deal with the loss of his best friend, Peter, when Peter's family moved away. In this story, Ben watches as a new family moves into the same house, bringing their huge dog with them. Ben and his family are white, and their new neighbors are Asian, with a daughter about Ben's age named Erv (short for Minerva). When Ben visits Erv at her house, he must face his considerable fear of dogs, including specific worries about canines chasing and biting him "with their strong jaws and big, sharp teeth." For his part, the friendly dog, Max, is afraid of the slippery, shiny floors in the new house and won't leave his rug to walk across the floor. Boy and dog conquer their respective fears, with a final, wordless page showing Ben leading Max by his leash as they follow Erv out to play. Ben's fear of dogs is sensitively portrayed in a text that skillfully interweaves exposition, questions, and dialogue, with Ben's internal musings set in italics. Amusing illustrations in watercolor and ink make effective use of heavy outlines and copious white space for a clean, contemporary look.Another successful outing in a winning series, with lots of room for more adventures for Ben and his new friends Erv and Max. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.