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Search tags: Ben-Hatke
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photo 2017-08-10 17:39
I'm Featured on Book Works! Congratulations to FEATURED AUTHOR J.D. Holiday! author/illustrator's charming books 4 kids: http://bit.ly/2wtP7Mg

I'm Featured on Book Works!
Congratulations to FEATURED AUTHOR J.D. Holiday! author/illustrator's
charming books 4 kids: http://bit.ly/2wtP7Mg

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review 2016-12-09 20:55
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
  1. I liked the book so much that as soon as I finished reading it I went back and read it again, and took more time to examine all the art, which is rewarding in that Hatke includes images from his other books. And since I’ve loved every one of this books….But this one got me to thinking. Julia lives in an adorable Queen Anne with a big front porch, and a fireplace, and built-in bookshelves and a big overstuffed comfy chair. It’s an immediately charming house, the big comfy chair by the fireplace is something that most people would love to have. So why is it no one builds houses like this? And why isn’t anyone selling chairs like this?
  2. Library copy
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review 2016-08-24 03:05
Wooly Worm Race
The Worm Whisperer - Betty Hicks,Ben Hatke



The afternoon knows what the morning never expected...

- Chapter 14



Ellis Coffey's 4th-grade teacher has them write each other's obituaries. This is what Geroge writes about Ellis:


Ellison "Ellis" Coffey lived his whole happy life in Banner Elk, North Carolina. His family ran a blueberry farm, and that's why Ellis's fingertips looked like ink. He loved animals and insects. He was very funny and had lots of friends. Mr. Turnmire called him our class-clown-but-with-brains. The world was a better place because Ellis lived in it.


Ellis's dad has a herniated disk in his back and has to spend most of his time lying flat. His mom works two jobs, along with making blueberry muffins, pies & jam to sell at the farmer's market. Ellis's dad needs an operation, but it costs $1,000 and they cannot afford it. 


Ellis finds a wooly worm (caterpillar) and it seems to respond to his words. So, Ellis decides that he is a worm whisperer and plans to enter his worm in the Wooly Worm Race. The prize is $1,000, and if Ellis wins, he will be able to pay the deductible for his dad's surgery.


This is a cute story and moves along quickly. Kids will enjoy reading about Ellis's worm training and the exciting conclusion at the race. Along the way, Ellis deals with school, bullies, friendship issues and figuring out who he is.

(Library copy)


Recommended to:

Readers in grades 3-5 who enjoy realistic fiction stories.

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review 2016-08-16 19:31
Little Robot
Little Robot - Ben Hatke

I loved the bright colorful pages that adored this novel and that’s why I originally picked up this children’s graphic novel. I found inside its cover a wonderful story about a young girl who befriends a robot who got bumped off a truck and ends up floating down a small river. While the rest of the children are off at school, she entertains herself and finds the box containing the robot in the water. Dragging it to shore, she and her cat help the robot adjust to life outside the box. Little robot knows that he is not like the little girl and I enjoyed how she tries to comfort him.   Meanwhile, the assembly line that the box was supposed to be on misses the little robot and sends out another robot to find him and bring him back. The little girl loves her new playmate and they explore the world together every day. Unfortunately, the recovery mission for little robot is going well and it isn’t long before their quiet time together is disturbed.


It’s an incredible story of friendship, of determination and of being creative. I liked the author’s use of words in the novel. The words that you find inside this novel are mainly sound words and easy words that younger children can pick up on, making this an excellent first graphic novel for younger children. I love the way the author illustrates these sound words, drawing them out, changing the font style and size, he really brings these words to life.   Words like clang, pling, crack, zom or the familiar one of jonk take on different meaning throughout the text. It’s a cute story, one that you can read to a child or one they could read to themselves.

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review 2016-05-30 22:01
Little Robot (graphic novel) by Ben Hatke
Little Robot - Ben Hatke

I recently cataloged this for the library where I work. I thought it looked cute, so I checked it out.

The story's pretty short: a little girl (we're never told her name) skips school and goes off to play on her own. A few hours earlier, a box fell out of a truck and landed in a river. The girl finds the box, opens it, and accidentally starts up the robot inside. The girl and robot have fun playing together, but their budding friendship is threatened by their differences (the little robot is aware that it's not human and wants to meet others like itself) and by the large and menacing robot that wants to take the little robot back to its factory.

There was only one moment in this that didn't sit well with me. At one point, the little girl, worried that the robot would leave her, locked it up. She did this so that she'd have time to try to create some friends for it and thereby convince it to stick around, but it was still a rotten thing for her to do to the robot she wanted to befriend.

It wasn't a deal-breaker for me, though, because of the way it was handled. The little robot got upset with the girl for what she'd done, and things didn't go nearly as well as she'd planned. And when she was faced with the same situation later on, she didn't make the same mistake, and things went better.

All in all, this was a cute story that managed to communicate a lot despite hardly having any text. The girl had guts and a good heart, even if her social skills needed a bit of work (which made sense, considering that she seemed to spend all or most of her time alone). The various robots were nice, and I loved the little fix-it bot as long as I didn't try to think too hard about what it could do. I was left with a lot of questions, but I did enjoy this overall.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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