4.04.2014

PPBF - Ben & Zip

Today's PPBF makes me want some warmer weather!


Title: Ben & Zip - Two Short Friends
Author: Joanne Linden
Illustrator: Tom Goldsmith
Publisher: Flash Light Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Fiction
Themes: friendship, point of view, safety
Brief synopsis: Ben and his friend are strolling down the boardwalk when suddenly Zip takes off running. Ben looks for Zip from many vantage points to no avail. What will it take for the friends to be reunited?
Opening Page: Ben was short. Zip was shorter. They skipped along the boardwalk toward their favorite spot, Wally's Popcorn Wagon, 
while swarms of people sunned and strolled on the sandy beach.
Related Resources:  
*Find Activity Guides from the Publisher {here}.
*Read a review at Flying Off My Bookshelf blog {here}.
*Talk about safety with info from SafeKids Worldwide {here}. Ben went into problem-solving mode when he realized his friend was missing. Was Ben old enough to run up and down the beach looking for his friend by himself? Can you find his parents in the background on any of the pages? What would you have done if you were Ben? Complete these graphic organizers with the children individually or as an classroom anchor chart. 




Why I like this book:  When a book doesn't have a clear-cut character development theme that grabs me, I take my lead from my kids. So, I tested the book out with a first-grade friend. I asked him whom this book was going to be about, and, from looking at the cover, he predicted it's about two boys: Ben, the little boy who lost his ice cream, and Zip, the boy in the runner's shirt with the number 1 on it. Because runners are fast and that's why he's named Zip, he added. 
Interesting thinking. 

The book engaged this young fella, who loved alternating reading the pages aloud with me. He just giggled and giggled as he looked at life on the beach from Ben's point of view. So intrigued by the book's surprise ending, he asked if he could take it to his class so that they could read it. So we did. Before we took our picture walk, a first-grade girl intuitively asked, "Is this book about a dog?" but we both pretended not to hear her question and asked who they thought was Ben and who they thought was Zip. Even their teacher was shocked by the terrific twist at the end of this tail tale.

The eye-catching detail in Goldsmith's colorful illustrations mixed in with some repetitive and rhyming text and multi-level vantage points give the reader a sweet summertime story that won't quickly be forgotten. 

Ask students what led them to believe that Zip was a boy. Find out how they felt when they figured out who Zip really was. Take a second look by reading it again and have them write or draw a Readers' Response that shows how different the book looked the second time through. Then discuss or role play about feelings: How must Ben have felt as he was frantically searching for his friend? 
Find out if they've ever had a similar experience or feeling. 
Let them buddy buzz or pair and share.

For more perfect picture books, go to Susanna's blog {here}.






20 comments:

  1. I hope my library has this one. I need this one for my son. Thank you and what wonderful activities to do.

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    1. My pleasure, Stacy. Thank you for dropping by ... it is an adorable book and I hope you can find a copy!

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  2. This is a unique choice. Interesting twist. It sounds like the kids love the guessing. The comments are priceless. There are not enough books about safety out there for kids. Great cover, so I imagine the illustrations are lively and beautiful.

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    1. Yes, Pat, this isn't my usual choice. But since I saw an opportunity to talk safety with my kiddos, I figured it was a good addition to our list. I'm always delighted when you stop by.

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  3. This sounds like a fun way to learn an important concept. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. I doubt it's meant to be a safety book, but I liked that it would easily lend itself to a springboard to help our little learners think through and review some safety rules.

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  4. I wouldn't have thought of a dog "skipping" along the boardwalk, so that might be how the author cleverly leads the reader astray. This looks like one for my list.

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    1. Right ... it's misleading, isn't it? I think you'll enjoy it, Wendy!

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  5. I love the activities and wealth of learning value in this fun book. I have to read it for the ending now!

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. I predict that it'll make you smile. Fun is a great word to describe it!

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  6. This book looks great, Barbara! I love how you explored it with your young friend, and it was interesting to se his conjecture compared to what really happened. Great activities as always! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Susanna, for stopping by and for your kind reflections. It amazes me that you are able to not only host PPBF but also come by to check out our picks!

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  7. I would be like the kids, and expect Zip to be another kid. What a neat book, and you've extrapolated fantastic lessons and activities from it. Thank you!

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    1. Wow, what kind words ... thank you, Beth. It really tricked me the first time through and I kept wondering what I'd missed. EnJOY!

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  8. This sounds like a cute book - and yeah, I totally can see two boys having some sort of adventure. But a not-boy adds a whole different flavor.

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  9. I like the idea of a twisty tail at the end! Sounds like y'all had a lot of fun with this one!

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    1. Cute play on words, Rhythm ... I thought you'd like it!! Yes, this one's fun and slightly whimsical.

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  10. Oh man, I have my own "Zip." I'll never forget when he took off from the Dumbo line and got swallowed up by the crowd. Yikes!

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    1. Oh, Kirsten, I hadn't thought about making such a powerful text-to-self connection. Hope your story had a similar happy ending!

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  11. Wow. One of those books you have to rush out to buy. Thanks for the cleverly-styled review.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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