Related Subjects: Author Index Reviews Page 1 2
Book reviews for "Elkin,_Benjamin" sorted by average review score:

Confessions of Zeno
Published in Hardcover by Greenwood Publishing Group (1930)
Authors: Italo Svevo and Ettore Schmitz
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An excellent book for children
"The King Who Could Not Sleep" was my favorite book as a child. I wore out the binding, I read it so much! It is an excellent story, with wonderful illustrations. I definately recommend it!

The King's Wish and Other Stories
Published in Library Binding by Random Library (1960)
Author: Benjamin Elkin
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A Tale of One Good King, Two Crooks, and Three Young Princes
Benjamin Elkin was a Principal at Roger's School in Chicago and a close friend of my family. "Uncle Ben" retired from teaching about the time I began elementary school, which provided him with the opportunity to visit my classroom at North Shore School on Sheridan Road. He would pass out Brach's butterscotch candies, perform magic tricks, challenge the kids with riddles, and tell tall tales. What a wonderful blessing it was to have an accomplished author visit our classroom (and my home during my younger years).

Of the dozen or so books Benjamin Elkin wrote, The King's Wish ranks among his best. Benjamin Elkin was truly a master storyteller, able to capture a child's attention on Page 1 and hold it until the end of the story. Most of his stories, including the King's Wish, appeal to both young children and beginning readers. This story is filled with wonderful imagery, good guys and bad guys, teamwork concepts, and grand adventure.

The King's Wish is divided into three short chapters. Chapter 1 begins with the King wishing that he could take a short vacation from his busy King's schedule. However, the King is concerned that his three young (teenage) sons are not yet responsible enough to handle the workload while the King is away.

In true Elkin fashion -- many of his stories contain riddles that must be solved -- the King decides to put the three young princes to a King's test. The princes are locked in a room with no apparent way to escape, yet they are told they must find a way out if they are to become kings. Sorry, I won't tell you how they manage to escape; but the princes' ingenuity convinces the King that he can take his long-overdue vacation.

Chapter 2 focuses on the king's vacation. While fishing and camping, the King is accosted by two wiley crooks. But the King, with that awesome red beard, is well loved in his kingdom and a furry friend soon comes to the King's rescue.

In the final chapter, the King awakes early and is getting ready to return from vacation when he notices off in the distance that his kingdom is on fire. How will the good King save his kingdom from burning to the ground? How can he wake the young princes up from their slumber? Its the final riddle of the book and you'll have to read the story to see how it is resolved.

Other stories by Elkin that I strongly recommend: Guillespe and the Guards (runner up for a Caldecott), Such is the Way of the World, the Big Jump (for younger children), the Loudest Noise in the World, Six Foolish Fishermen, Why the Sun Was Late, and Al and the Magic Lamp.

Why the Sun Was Late
Published in Hardcover by MacMillan Publishing Company ()
Author: Benjamin Elkin
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Intelligent lesson of social cause-and-effect.
A story told in rhythmic language about how we (as animals) react to each other emotionally, presented as an African folktale. This book presents some basic concepts like counting and animal sounds that allow younger children to become involved with the story, while older children will relate to the emotional lessons. I haven't seen this book since I was a child, but I have forgotten neither the artwork nor the story, which reminds us that even the most casual remark or action will have an enduring effect.

Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man
Published in Paperback by Ungar Pub Co (1987)
Authors: Thomas Mann and Walter D. Morris
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"The tiniest creatures are teachers of kings"
This book is a charming the wise King Solomon, and how the Queen of Sheba came to trick him to prove that he was not wise, and shame him before the whole world. King Solomon's kindness to a bee is what ultimately saves him from the Queen of Sheba's manipulations.

I remember growing up with this story -- the story is charming, but the gorgeous illustrations by Anita Lobel are what have stuck with me the most through all these years. Those illustrations were part of what helped to excite my interest in art at a young age. Years and years have passed, but I've always remembered this story and it's lovely pictures, but I couldn't remember the title. I finally found the title, and have found a used copy so that I can introduce my children to it someday.

Big Jump and Other Stories
Published in Library Binding by Random Library (1973)
Author: Benjamin Elkin
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Simply Enjoyable
A friend of mine said this was her favorite book as a child, and when I read it I found out why. While it is not flashy or geared towards "saving the world," as most children's books are today, in the old style of children's literature it is simple and enchanting. The characters are tastefully unique (I especially love the bizarre king) and the stories are . . . cute. While this book is not a "big jump" in the quality of the children's literary world, it is simply enjoyable.

The Big Jump stirs a child's imagination
The Big Jump by Benjamin Elkin is a great children's book. It has a good king and a bad king, but the bad king is not very bad. It has a magic wish sack, a wonderful dog, and a lot of other fun things packed into several different short stories. These are gentle stories that remind me of the way things were when I was a kid, and the way little kids' books should be. The stories are told with imagination and simplicity, and are wonderful to read. We've read it often to our little ones and it is a book that I recommend keeping forever.

Morris the Artist
Published in Hardcover by Farrar Straus & Giroux (Juv) (2003)
Authors: Lore Segal and Boris Kulikov
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A bright and rewarding children's story
Gillespie is a small boy who is determined to fool the king's guards in order to win a terrific prize. It's not easy to fool the king's guards. They have incredible eyesight, so you can't sneak a thing by them. But guess what - don't bet against our little hero.

My favorite book by Uncle Benny
Ben Elkin was one of the premier writers of children's books. I'm happy to see his books still in the libraries of public schools. He was a school principal. When we got together for family gatherings he would often have a story for us, sometimes about exploding bubble gum. I think he was fascinated by exploding bubble gum, possibly because he was a school principal. In any event, I really like this story about Gillespie, a little boy out to win a prize by fooling three palace guards who have incredible eyesight.

Six Foolish Fishermen
Published in Hardcover by Children's Book Press (1978)
Author: Benjamin Elkin
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A funny book to read
The name of this story is called the "Six Foolish Fishermen", and they really are six foolish fishermen. They always get things mixed up and they then get confused. Three of them will only bring their fishing rods, and then the other three would only bring their bait. People will tell them to switch what they have with each other. They then still don't have the materials they needed after they switched. To me, I liked this book and I think that this story was well writen and funny.

Cute children's story that was dramatized on TV
Six fishermen are very concerned. One of their number appears to be lost! When each of the fishermen counts how many of them there are, he only sees five. Could one have drowned? Perhaps your child can figure it out before the end.

The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You Don't Fall Through the Floor
Published in Paperback by Princeton Univ Pr (01 May, 1984)
Author: James Edward Gordon
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The whole world agrees to shout at the same time
A royal little boy (aren't they all) would like to hear the loudest noise in the world. The agreement is that all of the people in all of the world will scream at the top of their lungs to amuse this little prince. There's a trick ending that you and your child will enjoy - especially you.

6 Foolish Fishermen
Published in School & Library Binding by Children's Book Press (1957)
Authors: Benjamin Elkin and K. Evans
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The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry
Published in Hardcover by University of California Press (1987)
Author: Roy C. Strong
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