Thursday, February 23, 2012

Read Aloud Thursday // Ben & Me by Robert Lawson

We are on a roll with our chapter book read-alouds ... this week anyway! : ) We finished another one this week as part of our social studies reading in the colonial America time period - Ben & Me by Robert Lawson. According to the subtitle, it is about "the astonishing life of Benjamin Franklin as told by his good mouse Amos."


Amos was a poor mouse, living with his large mouse family in the vestry of a local church. One night, in search of food, he stumbled into the home of Ben Franklin and a friendship was formed between the intelligent mouse, and according to Amos, the slightly absent minded Ben. Amos chronicles several adventures and inventions of Ben - the Franklin stove, electricity - as well as several historical moments that Amos plays a key role in. Without Amos, it is sure that the Declaration of Independence wouldn't have had the well known language at it's intro ("When in the course of human events..."). There are also several incidents where Amos, upon taking matters into his own mouse hands, causes such confusion and disruption, that it would have been better if Ben had been left on his own!

This is a book that I was excited to read with my girls because I have fond memories of the old Disney short cartoon "Ben and Me" that I remember watching as a child. The book has many more tales that are not included in the video, and it was a quick and enjoyable read for all of us over the last couple weeks. Would I rank this mouse story up at the top of the list with our favorite Tumtum & Nutmeg? No. But for a fun tie-in to our current history lessons, I don't regret the read in the least. My second grader could have easily read this on her own, but then I would have missed out! : ) I've also spotted another book by Robert Lawson about Paul Revere, as narrated by his horse, and I may tack that on to one of N1's reading lists one of these days.

A few weeks ago, we also rented the Ben & Me short from the library, but I was pleased to find it on youtube as well! Parts 1 and 2 are linked below for your enjoyment, if you are interested.





I'm linking up with Amy for this week's Read Aloud Thursday!

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful book to make history fun and accessible to children. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I still haven't seen this Disney short! We're definitely going to have to look that up once we read the book aloud.

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  3. My oldest just read both Ben and Me and Mr. Revere and I. He enjoyed both, but I admit to feeling like I missed out. :) I think I might have to do them as read-alouds the next time around. Thanks for linking the video, that will be fun to watch sometime.

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  4. I love Ben and Me and while growing up saw the film many times!

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    1. The film was one of my favorites as a child and I really had to hunt to find a version to rent. Wish I had thought of YouTube first (not normally my first choice). : )

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  5. Thanks for sharing...I am collecting book ideas for next year when we begin a study of American History, and this sounds like a great one to add to our list!

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    1. We loved it - and it was quick read!

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  6. Lulu loves all things history, so I think she'd eat this one up. I'm like you, though--I hate missing out! ;-)

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  7. We found the video through our library last year when studying Am. colonial history. I think my oldest also read and enjoyed the book. It's fun to tie in not-strictly-historical works to their history lessons. :D

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Thanks for commenting!