Ben & Zip: Two Short Friends
Written by Joanne Linden
Illustrated by Tom Goldsmith
Ben is a typical kid on a typical boardwalk with his parents and his best friend, Zip. When the weather becomes threatening, Ben is in a panic wondering what happened to Zip. He begins at kid level and only sees knees – fat, bony, bumpy, and scratched. He climbs to bench level to be confronted by bellies – hairy, jelly, and hanging down. Standing on a picnic table, Ben can see a lot of hair – red, yellow, long, and swirly. He climbs the lifeguard tower only to discover everyone has taken shelter. But he does spot the place where he last saw Zip – a popcorn stand – and runs to the area. Zip, who the reader finds out is a dachshund, has been caught on a post. Ben releases him and waits for the weather to clear.
First graders will love the fact that many of the illustrations are from their perspective. This would be great as a read aloud because all the kids can help look for Zip. In fact, the reader will be driven to go back to the beginning and find all the places Ben, Zip, and each of his parents appear. The illustrations are detailed and lively and do a great job of involving the reader. Along with literacy skills, this book is good for teaching observation skills.