Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos by Robert Lawson was our bedtime read-aloud for the latter part of February. This short little book is a delightful addition to any U.S. History study, or for anyone who just enjoys books about anthropomorphized animals, fictionalized accounts of historic figures, or both. 🙂 Amos is the very intelligent mouse who lives in Ben Franklin’s fur cap and helps him solve many of his problems, which range from the scientific to the political to the diplomatic. The chapters are short in this book, which is always a plus as for as I am concerned for bedtime reads. (I tend to read with the room very dimly lit, which I wouldn’t recommend for this title as Lawson’s illustrations are copious, interesting, and humorous. This is more of a read-together-on-the-sofa kind of book.) Of particular enjoyment is the illustration which accompanies this description:
I had seen many elaborate hair arrangements at the Court, but this far exceeded anything I had ever beheld. The powdered curls, rising to a height of four feet above her head, were arranged to represent the waves of the Ocean. Surmounting these was a full-rigged ship with an American flag at the masthead. Long red, white and blue ribbons, inscribed LIBERTY AND JUSTICE, flew from the bowsprit. Just below the ship was a colored wax medallion of Ben, upheld by pink cupids and decorated with some silly sentiment. (93)
Louise had already read this one, but she enjoyed it just as much as Lulu. I’m not sure I’d chose it again as a read-aloud just because of the illustrations, but otherwise I”m very glad we read it and give it a Highly Recommended. (Little, Brown, 1939)
I went searching on Youtube to see if there were any adaptations of this story, and lo and behold, there is, and a Disney one at that. None other that Bill Peet wrote this particular adaptation, which is fairly faithful to part of the original story. My kids really enjoyed watching it. Fun!