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Ben's Dream

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  454 ratings  ·  63 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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“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...more
Ben Clark
"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.
Taylor De La Fe
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
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.
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.
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
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...more
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
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...more
Xiaoxiao Zhu
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...more
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...more
Marjorie Estavillo
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
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
Spencer Gold

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...more
Megan Goss
The first thing I noticed about the illustrations is that they are in black and white. As I looked closer to the illustrations, I saw that they were comprised of fine little lines. I’m not sure if Van Allsburg created these through a scratchboard or with an ink pen. The story is about Ben falling asleep during a rainstorm while studying for his geography test. Naturally, he dreams about his house floating by world monuments and landmarks (2-page spreads with no text and framed). I think the blac...more
Karly Kovac
This book was about a little boy and one of his friends who are biking to play baseball but they see rain clouds so they turn around and go home. Ben falls asleep to the sound of the rain and dreams that his house is floating through the water and he floats all around the world. He wakes up to his friend knocking on his window and she tells him that she had the same dream! There are only a few pages of words in the book, and the pictures are all in black and white. I don't think children would l...more
Great "read" for all ages, although there are few words. Readers follow the book through pages of Allsburg's illustrations.

Perfect mentor text for discussing plot, detail, visualization and more.
Lynette Wells
I liked how the illustrator Chris Van Allsburg made the illustrations look like we are looking through a window. I believe this was very important in telling the story. I also liked how he was able to do so many different textures with just using black and white. You can really tell the differences in the different items in the illustrations based on the texture and the shading. My favorite part in the story was when Ben saw his friend Margaret in the dream. I did not even notice her when I flip...more
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

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.
(Goodreads Summary)

Another creative book from the imagination of Chris Van Allsburg, during his black and white period. A intriguing way to introduce geography, when Ben falls asleep while studying for a Great Monuments of the World test. The two page spreads are wonderderous. This can be a fun "read-aloud" when you stop and...more
Diana Judd
Ben and Margaret have to take a test on famous landmarks around the world. Unfortunately, Ben can't focus on his geography book and he falls asleep. He then goes on a grand adventure in his dream. Most of this story is a dream sequence without words, so it's told almost entirely through the illustrations. I think this was a pretty cool way of telling a story. I love that Chris Van Allsburg never really takes the easy way out when it comes to his story telling. It's always such and art, and this...more
Honah Miller
He uses crosshatching to display shadows and textures in the black and white images. I thought it was interesting that there was no color included because when I think of a child's imagination I usually think bright colors. The fact that borders are used instead of full bleed images gives the sense that you are disconnected with the story instead of being fully immersed in it. The pages where Ben is dreaming, there is no text, which I thought was interesting and maybe because he wanted everyone...more
Creative way to look at landmark monuments. My 5 year old quite enjoyed.
Nichole Petteruti
"Ben's Dream" is about a boy Ben who falls asleep while studying for his geography test, and floats through water in his house past all the monuments of the world. I think that this book is a great way to expose children to different geological locations in a creative way. The book has an interesting storyline in that both he and his friend Margaret were in each other's dreams, as they came to realize in the end. I like this book and would enjoy reading it to my class to begin a lesson on geogra...more
Melissa Fordonski
Ben’s Dream takes you on a ride through the mind of Ben during his afternoon nap. Ben is stuck at home alone, studying for a geography quiz on great landmarks of the world. While reading his textbook, Ben doses off and takes a trip all over the world, floating by half sunken landmarks in his house. While he is traveling he sees his friend Margaret float by in her house too. The illustrations show each landmark at mysterious angles, leaving the reader guessing at which landmark they are looking a...more
Samantha Jones
Ben's Dream is all about perspective! Van Allsburg takes the reader on an incredible journey with Ben as he tours great monuments of the world while in his house! But, the reader's view is not always from Ben's house. We get glimpses of the world from many angles. The illustrations propel the story through Van Allsburg's black and white texture. The ending is especially clever with perspective, and somewhat tricky, when the reader finds out that Margaret and Ben both experienced the house journe...more
An early work of Chris Van Allsburg. Ben has a geography test to study for. He falls asleep studying (why?). He begins to dream and finds himself on a tour of the world. Each image is a different world landmark (Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Sphinx, etc.)

This would be an excellent book to teach geography. I wonder if students would be able to research and find these. What if we created landmarks of New Jersey to illustrate our own version of this? Ah . . .

Fritz makes an appearance.
Kimberly Parrott
This nearly wordless book conveys a little boy's dream after he studies for his geography test. He falls asleep to the rain and dreams of all the world's wonders and all of them are flooded! Then when he wakes up his friend says she had the same dream after she fell asleep studying for geography. They go off to play baseball like they had planned at the end and its just a sweet ending. This would be a good book to read to children at a young age to get them familiar with the world wonders!
Eva Leger
1.5 - Julia and I aren't fans of books with such little text. We prefer to read the story rather than look at pictures usually.
This didn't entertain either of us very much. Actually, it didn't entertain either of us at all. The only reason we even finished it is because it takes a total of 7 seconds to get through.
I don't know what I was expecting but when we pick Julia's books we try to read different types of books among the more "average". That burned us this time.
Quite a magical book. The illustrations are brilliant and take up most of the pages. Easy read as there a just a few pages with words. It has a great moral, get your homework/studying done. The places that Ben dreams about are places he has to study for his geography test. He sees a friend along the way and waves. Such a cute story! When his friend wakes him up, they go out to play and it turns out she had the same dream whenever she read the book and saw Ben.
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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...more
More about Chris Van Allsburg...
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