Studying for a geography test becomes an imaginative adventure through the creativity of author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg.
An approaching storm postpones a proposed baseball game so Ben heads home to study for a geography test. He settles down in a comfortable chair and begins to read about major world landmarks. Outside the gentle rain turns to a heavy downpour and the sound of the rain lulls Ben to sleep. Ben dreams that his house is floating on a vast ocean past many of the monuments in his textbook.
Chris Van Allsburg tells the story of Ben’s dream with detailed black and white line drawings that emphasize the surreal elements of the narrative. The only text and dialogue are at the beginning and end of the book; the section chronicling Ben’s dream is completely wordless. This approach allows the reader to become immersed in the dream along with Ben. Parents and teachers introducing children to world landmarks will also enjoy identifying the sites Ben sees in his dream.
Originally published in 1982, Ben’s Dream is a wonderful mix of fantasy and reality similar to Van Allsburg’s other works including The Chronicles of Harris Burdick and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi.
Check the WRL catalog for Ben’s Dream.