Ben's Dream Book Poster Image

Ben's Dream



Kids may need help with geographical references.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids may need help with some of the geographical references here. Spectacular line drawings fascinate kids, and they enjoy finding out and filling in the details in the wordless section.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

During a rainstorm, Ben falls asleep while studying geography, and finds himself floating on a flood past the major landmarks of the world. This tour of half-covered monuments, done in intricate black-and-white line drawings, fascinates, but kids need help with the references.


Is it any good?


The surprise ending to this unusual book will have readers scrambling back through the pages to find the clues they missed the first time through. For many children, enjoying this book -- beyond looking at the intricately hatched black-and-white line drawings -- will require the help of an adult who can answer questions and provide context. The pen-and-ink pictures of monuments, half-covered in water and sometimes pictured at unusual angles, may not be familiar to young readers. But they can provide a starting point for interested children to find out more by reading other books.

Chris Van Allsburg rarely uses the same style twice, and children interested in drawing will be fascinated by his work here, in which he produces drawings of great detail, shading, and three-dimensional depth using only straight and slightly curving lines.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the monuments depicted in the book. Why was each built? How? Which ones were particularly challenging to build? How do styles and moods differ among the monuments? Check out other resources for more details on each.

Book details

Author:Chris Van Allsburg
Illustrator:Chris Van Allsburg
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:April 26, 1982
Number of pages:31
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Ben's Dream was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.