Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here’s Benjie! – Frances Walter & Violet T. Pearson

Some years ago my sister gave this book to me, I assumed as a joke. I just finished reading it with my daughter. As children’s books go, it is adequate, though not bound for a place on the shelf with the classics.

Benjie and his family are beavers. He, along with his Father, Mother, brother and two sisters go through the days and nights preparing for winter. During the course of the story, Benjie encounters friends—Cottontail the bunny, the otter family, and a grouse—and some enemies—including wolverines who just want to kill and eat him. The most entertaining of the stories is when a human tries to get a look at the inside of the Beavers’ lodge, only to be frightened away after almost drowning getting to the underwater entrance. The Beavers knew that he was an enemy; they did not know that the humans there were scientists and not hunters.

What children can learn about beavers and their ways is interesting and told in an endearing story that can be read by early readers or (as I did) by parents with their younger children.

—Benjamin Potter, April 28, 2007

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