Aggie and Ben

Aggie and Ben: three stories by Lori Ries, illustrated by Frank W. Dormer. 

This is a charming early chapter book!  Ben is a young boy who gets to select a new pet.  He thinks about all of his options, but finally decides on a puppy, Aggie.  In the second chapter, Ben decides to pretend to be a puppy like Aggie, but sometimes Aggie’s habits are a little off-putting.  And finally, Ben and Aggie try to sleep through the night together but Aggie continues to see strange things in the dark. 

The writing by Ries is clever.  I especially enjoyed Ben’s thoughts as he considered each choice for a pet and rejected them.  The humor is understated but children will immediately understand it.  Just a lovely, easy read.  Dormer’s illustrations give the book a feel of an early reader graphic novel where the illustrations are self-contained and boxed in, giving a comic strip feel to the book.   I think this will increase child appeal even more.  The text on each page is quite brief and not overwhelming at all for new readers.  This one is certainly a winner.

Give this to newly emergent readers.  Boys and girls alike will fall in love with the characters and will join me in waiting eagerly for the next volume of Ben and Aggie stories.