BENJI & THE GIANT KITE
by Alan C. Fox
Illustrated by Eefje Kuijl
ages 4 to 7
Benji wants to buy a giant orange kite. But it's very expensive, so he works to earn the money by helping his mom in the garden.
Finally, the exciting day arrives when Benji can fly his beautiful kite...
Benji loves kites, especially since he lives near the beach where the winds are often perfect for flying them. But every kite he buys at the toy store takes a crash dive before it can become a distant dot in the sky. Benji is determined to see a kite soar to new heights, and it's this determination which might help him finally achieve his dream.
Emotion packs these pages as readers and listeners accompany Benji on his mission to fly a kite high into the sky. The author runs through sad disappointment, hope, hard work, joy and leaves with an unexpected ending. The idea of flying a kite matches nicely to young listeners and will spark their own flying dreams. They'll easily understand Benji's disappointments and hopes. Benji's parents come into play not as opening all doors to him, but they gently leave the space he needs to fulfill the dreams on his own. This was a nice touch.
The illustrations are bright and cheerful. It's hard not to smile with Benji when his face lights up. The story can easily be followed even by those non-readers when they flip through the pages on their own.
An encouraging message holds through the entire book—dreams aren't always easily met but can be achieved and are worth it. But it doesn't stop there. The author adds a twist by lastly encouraging listeners to head for the next goal and not sit on one achievement. This ending met with mixed feelings from my children as it does hit a pinch of sadness. Food for thought is left, in any case, which opens up discussions—something I always find good. This isn't a story which will easily leave young listeners' minds.
And here they are...
Alan C. Fox is the bestselling author of three books for adults. people Tools, People Tools for Business and People Tools for Love and Relationships. His two children's books are Benji and The 24 Pound Banana Squash (Clavis 2017) and Benji and The Giant Kite (Clavis 2018). An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and relationships expert, Alan is also the publisher of the poetry magazine, Rattle. He founded a charity that works to maximize the potential of youth as well as an organization that encourages young people to become active in helping others. Alan lives in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit Alan's website: alancfox. com
Eefje Juijl, a graduate of the School of the Arts Utrech, creates colorful illustrations for children's books, magazines, postcards and more. She lives in The Netherlands with her partner Philip, her son Guus, daughter Fien, and their dog Jip.