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Ben's Dream

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  567 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
On a terrifically rainy day, Ben has a dream in which he and his house float by the monuments of the world, half submerged in flood-water.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 26th 1982 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Apr 18, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
“Ben’s Dream” is another classic book from the brilliant mind of Chris Van Allsburg, popular author of “Jumanji” and “The Polar Express.” In this book, a young boy named Ben tries to study for a geography test until he falls asleep and dreams of the different monuments of the world. “Ben’s Dream” is a fantastic book for children who want a creative way of learning geography.

Chris Van Allsburg’s story about a young boy dreaming about the great monuments of the world is highly imaginative and insp
Kathleen Hoellerich
Feb 23, 2015 Kathleen Hoellerich rated it it was amazing
Ben’s Dream by Chris Van Allsburg is a story about Margaret and Ben who have a very strange dream. The day starts out with Margaret and Ben on a bike ride. Their bike ride has to come to an end because it starts to rain. The two kids decide to each go to their own homes and study for their geography test they have the next day. They both end up falling asleep dreaming of floating past different wonders of the world in their homes. At one point they see each other in the dreams when they are pass ...more
Jonathan Jordan
Feb 22, 2015 Jonathan Jordan rated it liked it
Ben's Dream is another one of Allsburg books that is in black and white and stills is very intriguing. Ben and Margret are two friends who have a geography test the next day and Ben does not feel prepared. So he takes a nap and begins this adventurous dream across the world as his house comes afloat of a flooded earth. Ben travels to Egypt, Paris, Mount Rushmore and many more places but in the story you see two houses traveling across the world. Ben survives the epic flood and is awake to Margre ...more
Dree Kinder
Feb 22, 2015 Dree Kinder rated it really liked it
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg is a book that many children can relate to. The book is about two students who need to study for an upcoming test, but end up falling asleep. As they fell asleep, they dreamed about everything that they needed to study for that was on their test. Van Allsburg does a great job of expressing imagination into this book.

The reader is able to use their imagination through the character's dream. In this dream, the boy dreamt of floating around to the different landmar
Natalee Huguez
Feb 22, 2015 Natalee Huguez rated it it was amazing
This story is about two friends, Ben and Margaret. They had plans to play outside until rain started to come down on them, so they decided to both go home and study for their upcoming geography test. Ben fell asleep while reading his textbook and studying the great landmarks of the world. The next thing that happens is unreal, Ben's house is surrounded by water and passes the landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and much more. When Ben wakes up from his adventuro ...more
Cassandra Collins
Feb 22, 2015 Cassandra Collins rated it really liked it
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg is about a boy named Ben. One day Ben was trying to study for a geography test, but fell asleep listening to the rain. He dreams that the rain flooded the world and his house floats to all the different places that are on his geography test. The next day his friend Margaret tells him about her dream (which was the same), and Ben tells Margaret he saw he at the Sphinx.

This book only uses text on pages where Ben is awake, so the story relies heavily on the illustr
Marissa Horton
Feb 22, 2015 Marissa Horton rated it really liked it
In the book, "Ben's Dream", Ben needs to study for his history test with his friends, but before he studies, he takes a nap. In his nap he is taken to a magical world where history comes to life. Ben is re-living history as he is experiencing it right in front of his eyes. He is taken through iconic historical figures such as the Sphinx and Mt. Rushmore and actually reacting with them. This book is the perfect book for children who seek to know more about history or even just want to have more f ...more
Nicole Fiene
Feb 21, 2015 Nicole Fiene rated it really liked it
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg was a picture book that really caught my attention. At first, looking at the all black and white illustrations made me feel as though the book wouldn't be as interesting as it turned out to be. However, after looking into Van Allsburg's illustrations, and seeing just how detailed and unique they are, I was actually extremely impressed with his work. The story begins by telling about a boy who is out playing with his friend when he realizes he has to study for hi ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Garrett rated it really liked it
Chris Van Allsburg's "Ben's Dream" is an interesting wordless picturebook. Reading it, one can tell that a clear didactic message about the importance of studying geography is not the book's purpose (though that is what one may think after reading the first page). Instead, Allsburg takes his subject matter (children and geographic/historic landmarks) and uses it to form a book whose message may vary greatly from person to person. He begins this story with two friends who head home to study geogr ...more
Brooke Wagner
Feb 19, 2015 Brooke Wagner rated it really liked it
Ben's Dream is an almost wordless picture book. It begins with he and his friend out for a bike ride and then Ben goes home to study for his geography test. While reading he falls asleep and it begins to rain. His house then floats on the water to different significant places such as the Statue of Liberty, the Sphynx, the Great Wall of China, and Mt. Rushmore. At one point his house runs into his friends on the water. Suddenly there is a tapping on the window and he wakes up realizing that it wa ...more
Hannah Wolf
Nov 04, 2014 Hannah Wolf rated it liked it
In this story Ben is studying for a geography test and falls asleep. He is suddenly awoken and realizes that his house is floating in water! He starts to float past major monuments like the eiffel tower, leaning tower of pizza, the coliseum, Taj Mahal and many more. He floats past his friend in her house and waves. When Ben wakes up he realizes that it was just all a dream. He dreamt about those monuments because he has been studying them for geography.

Allsburg uses a different kind of illustrat
Ben Clark
Oct 12, 2014 Ben Clark rated it really liked it
"Ben's Dream" is an escape-from-reality picture book by Chris van Allsburg. The book begins with the protagonist (Ben) and his friend Margaret pedaling toward home to escape some impending storm clouds. When Ben gets home he finds a note from his mom saying that she went shopping. He takes out his geography textbook to study for an upcoming test, but the rhythmic sound of the rain lulls him to sleep. He wakes up to find his house surrounded by water. He floats past the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben ...more
Monique Franco
Yet another magically adventurous story by Van Allsburg, I really enjoyed the historical imagery included in this story and their descriptions at the end of the book. Although dialogue is only included in the first and last portion of the book, it was fun creating what might be going through Ben's head as he traveled through the different landmarks that he was studying for geology. This book goes to show the fun adventure you can embark on when you use your imagination.
Tiffany Fox
Mar 15, 2015 Tiffany Fox rated it really liked it
Ben should be studying for a geography test on great monuments of the world, but the steady rhythm of the rain lulls him to sleep, and his dream begins. A flood of water shakes his house from its foundations and sets it adrift on an around-the-world course, carrying Ben past the incredible structures that were merely pictures on the pages of his book a moment earlier.

Chris Van Allsburg, creator of such titles as Jumanji, Zathura and The Polar Express, brings another great title to add to any one
Taylor De La Fe
Feb 19, 2014 Taylor De La Fe rated it liked it
This was a cute story, but kind of short. It starts out talking about a boy getting ready to study for a test. Then, he falls asleep and is taken through his geography book to all the landmarks in his dream. This part is only in pictures, though. It is kind of cool because it gives a dream-like effect, but it makes the story go very fast. At the end, he is back at his house awake and finds out something crazy about his friend who had also had to study for this test. I thought this was a fun stor ...more
Lesley Looper
Ben falls asleep while studying for a "landmarks of the world" test, and ends of dreaming about them. At the end of the story, we learn that his friend Margaret has a similar dream during her afternoon nap, and that Ben and Margaret had cameos in each other's dreams. Interesting. Enjoyed the Van Allsburg drawings in this book, as usual.
LesLee Sanders
Oct 27, 2015 LesLee Sanders rated it it was amazing
This book is about two kids who went to play baseball only to be forced home to study for a geography test due to stormy weather. The friends both go home to study and find themselves in all the wonders of the world they had been reading and studying about. They see the Parthenon, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Golden Gate Bridge, Sphinx, and more. We see the story come to life mostly by pictures, because the text is sparse and makes the reader use the pictures to infer what is happening in the ...more
Jun 19, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
I really liked how the dream did not have any words with it. It was a fun book and I liked how it connected at the end. both Ben and his friend had the same dream and it was about different landmarks around the world.
Nov 22, 2008 Dena rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
A little too much for Ben right now but will be on my list for a future give-away. As always excellent drawings and a very clever story!
Sara Check
Dec 03, 2011 Sara Check rated it liked it
1.Picture book, wordless.

2.Ben, while studying for a geography test on world famous landmarks, falls asleep. His dream takes him floating around the world past the landmarks that he is studying.

3.A. Chris Van Allsburg uses minimal words and different points of views of some of the most famous world landmarks to let his reader interpret this intriguing story. His scratchboard technique makes for intricate yet simple illustrations for the reader to analyze easily as they make their way through the
Erica Johnson
Ben's Dream starts with him and his friend Margaret riding bikes in hopes of going to play some afternoon baseball. Their agenda had been short lived because of the rain clouds that were rolling in, so instead Ben decided to go home to study for his geography landmarks test he had coming up. As it begins to rain Ben falls asleep in his fathers chair with his geography book in his hands. During his dream the heavy rain has produced a flood that his house was now floating in. He floats passed a ha ...more
Sep 13, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it
Ben’s Dream, one of Chris Van Allsburg’s earlier picture books, is a captivating story of a young boy who takes a journey through some of the worlds most well-known monuments. After having fallen asleep doing geography homework, Ben finds himself drifting afloat in his home, in a dream-world where the earth appears to be submerged in water. The Statue of Liberty, for instance, has water up to her chest and only the head of the Sphinx in Egypt can be seen from Ben’s perspective.
It is this perspe
Xiaoxiao Zhu
Sep 14, 2012 Xiaoxiao Zhu rated it really liked it
It really is a long dream! Ben must have slept for a long time! But it's a good dream. I love this dream. These monuments of the world must be the places where Ben wants to visit in his mind. And with the rain, he just finished his travel to these areas in his dream. Funny, Margaret had a similar with Ben --- float around the world, they may have same dream to travel around the world and visit these famous monument in the future.

I have a dream! And my dream is in progress. Actually, my first ste
Lauren Sharp
Picture Book 14
This book was about two kids going to study for their history exam and then having the same dream. The illustrations are the main point of the book. Chris Van Allsburg makes you have to look at the detail because at the end if don't you have to go back and find what picture you missed. I enjoyed this book because even when I'm 21 it reminds me I always need to pay attention to the details.
Sep 09, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok
This book really is something. Ben's Dream takes the observant and thoughtful reader deep within the corners of the human dreaming mind, even connecting the dream worlds of two people in surprising and illuminating ways.

As always, the artistry of Chris Van Allsburg blows away the achievements of ninety-nine percent of all other picture books. That isn't a complaint about any of those books, but rather an amazed admission—from someone who has seen most of Chris Van Allsburg's work for years and
Oct 22, 2015 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, educ-542
When Ben falls asleep after studying for his geography test, he wakes up to find his house floating in a giant ocean. He floats across the world, visiting many monuments. It's told mostly through wordless ink drawings and perfect for teaching geography, making connections to their local geography, etc.
Marjorie Estavillo
Sep 20, 2012 Marjorie Estavillo rated it liked it
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg, is an adorable story about a young boy's dream. on an rainy day Ben had fallen asleep and he had a wonderful dream. He was in his house, half submerged in water, passing historical, famous monuments. The picture in this book are so wonderful and beautifully detailed. Chris Van Allsburg does a tremendous job telling his story to the reader through his text as well as his pictures. First I turned each page of this book looking at only the pictures. I wanted to in ...more
Sarah Leesman
Sep 11, 2011 Sarah Leesman rated it it was amazing
Ben’s Dream is a black and white picture book with numbered pages and double page spread illustrations. Ben falls asleep while studying for his history test and visits different historical monuments around the world. On pages 8 and 9, Ben’s house is tilted and the doors and windows are open, while the following pages all have different historical monuments on them. Van Allsburg might be trying to tell us that this is how he views these monuments because he draws them differently than they really ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Dholsten rated it did not like it
I liked the concept of this children's book, but I didn't like how it was delivered. Having two children experience each other as the wake up clarion was not an exciting touch. The illustrations were wonderful, but again, there was not enough wit with the prose (in my humble opinion).
Spencer Gold
Oct 09, 2011 Spencer Gold rated it it was amazing

Ben's Dream is a wonderful journey through historical landmarks in the world. Van Allsburg always amazes me with the different styles of illustration he does in his books. The black and white sketch like drawings in this story were wonderful. I feel that Van Allsburg books can be carried by the drawings alone and the words take a back seat for me. His pictures tell their own tale. I felt like I was in Ben's Dream with him going in house to the different landmarks throughout the world. The images
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
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