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Ben's Dream

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  653 Ratings  ·  101 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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Rating details
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Brenna Wesley
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked how Chris Van Allsburg write the story and also drew the illustrations. This is a great book for children who are learning about geography.
Sara Check
Nov 23, 2011 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
Apr 08, 2010 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
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.
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.
The Docta
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Telling half the story without words. Behold the power of images. As an avid reader/listener you tend to focus more on the words of books, but I guess in some cases a picture truely is worth a thousand words.
Jun 19, 2008 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 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!
Drew Graham
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Ben falls asleep reading his geography book and has a most remarkable dream that takes his house all around the world.

Now THIS is more like it when it comes to a Van Allsburg dream book. It still doesn't have TOO much by way of story, and it never really explains why everything is flooded, except as a device to float by everything and see it from a new perspective, but it's imaginative and spooky in that cool kind of way. (And of course it's refreshingly minus a blatant agenda.)

EDIT: Oh wait, it
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: educ542, own
Another good book about a dreamer. Great to use for comparison with “Just a Dream”. Teaches important international landmarks. Loved the sepia tones of these illustrations.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn in by Chris's artwork. The little boy in the story falls asleep while studying for his geography test. His dream takes him to famous landmarks.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Part of Ben's dream was wordless. I struggled to remember the names of the monuments.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I do not understand the author's fascination with dreaming. I am missing the message again.
Tim Armstrong
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of Van Allsburg's earlier works, in black and white but typically another extremely clever picture book.
Yet another winner.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Grade: 2nd-4th
I greatly enjoyed this one, beautiful pictures, very few words. and it leaves you with the question, did this really happen or was it all just a dream?
Feb 20, 2015 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
Tiffany Fox
Mar 07, 2015 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
Nicole Fiene
Feb 20, 2015 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
Sep 13, 2011 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
Kathleen Hoellerich
Feb 23, 2015 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
Natalee Huguez
Feb 22, 2015 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
Brooke Wagner
Feb 19, 2015 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
Cassandra Collins
Feb 22, 2015 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
Jonathan Jordan
Feb 22, 2015 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
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 Clark
Oct 12, 2014 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
Dree Kinder
Feb 22, 2015 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
Hannah Wolf
Nov 04, 2014 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
Xiaoxiao Zhu
Sep 12, 2012 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
Marissa Horton
Feb 22, 2015 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
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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 about Chris Van Allsburg

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