Story time is a big deal in our home. We are always on the hunt for fun new books to read and the library is one of our favorite places to spend the morning. Every night each of my boys get to pick at least one book to read before bed.
Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of a fun new picture book called Benji & the Giant Kite by Alan C. Fox to review. My boys were absolutely THRILLED when the book came in the mail and instantly begged me to read it. The book is full of bright and colorful illustrations by Eefje Kuijl that made turning each page so much more fun.
Not only is this book a fun read for littles, it’s also full of some great life lessons. In the book the main character, Benji, absolutely loves kites and often looks forward to spending his allowance on a new kite. He lives near a beautiful beach that is perfect for kite flying, but the strong winds tend to cause his kites to crash as well. Benji is sad when his kites break but is never discouraged from buying a new kite and trying again.
One day he is in the toy store with his mother and spots a giant, diamond-shaped kite that he really wants. His mother reminds him that he has already spent his allowance, but he promises to work hard and weed the garden to earn the money for the new kite. This is such an important lesson for children to learn. It’s something I often struggle with getting my 3 and 4 year old to understand. We haven’t introduced chores quite yet in our house but I’m beginning to think that my boys are getting old enough to understand that not everything is just handed to you and sometimes you have to put in some work to get what you really want.
Once Benji earned his kite he couldn’t wait to fly it and immediately ran straight to the beach to see how high he could fly it. He took turns holding the twine with his little brother and father and enjoyed every minute of flying his well earned kite. Finally, when it was time to go Benji just couldn’t take the kite out of the sky where he thought it belonged, so instead of bringing it home with him to fly another day, he set it free into the gorgeous sunset and he likes to think it may still be up there yet.
The story itself was inspired by a real life experience of the author, Alan C. Fox. He wanted to share this story from his childhood because he remembers having a great sense of achievement by working so hard to earn his kite that he so desperately wanted, but yet once he saw it flying so majestically at the beach he just had to set it free. His dream had been accomplished and he felt it was time to move on to the next one.
I love this book not only because it shares the wonderful message of working hard in life to get what you want, but also because in the end he realizes it’s okay to let go of things you love. Benji’s resilience in the book and him never giving up on his determination to fly kites, despite how many he has crashed, is inspiring.