BEN RIDES ON with perilously big words. Good for you, Matt Davies!

I’m getting ready for Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (30 picture book ideas in 30 days in November) by participating in a fun challenge created by Kathy Ellen Davis called 31 in 31. Participants pledge to read a picture book each day in October, then post about it on Kathy Ellen’s blog. It’s helping me meet my goal of 500 PBs read this year, and I’m getting leads on some very tempting, must-read picture books. Interested in taking the 31 in 31 or PiBoIdMo challenges. Click on the links to learn more.

I decided I wanted to share what I posted on the 31 in 31 blog today. Here it is:

My PB of the day is BEN RIDES ON by Matt Davies, 2013, A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press), 341 words.

The story and illustrations are terrific. I loved remembering how I felt when I got my first bike. Ben’s bike is stolen by a bully. You’ll thoroughly enjoy how the problem is resolved.

What I liked best about the book is Matt Davies use of L O N G words most PB writers shy away from — lots of long words.



Explained, revolved, revenge. (All in one sentence!)


Immediate investigation.




Extraordinarily. (Yes, really, the six-syllable, fifteen-letter extraordinarily.)

There are more. They’re used perfectly, so kids will get a pretty clear idea of what they mean, and they’re used in a story told in a way that kids will want it read again and AGAIN! (Nod to Emily Gravett. Look it up.) What a lovely way to teach kids new words. Three cheers, Matt Davies!

Read this book and ride the waves of emotion with Ben. Thoroughly enjoyable.


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3 responses to “BEN RIDES ON with perilously big words. Good for you, Matt Davies!

  1. I agree, Carol, it is wonderful to see PBs with ‘big’ words, it is important to extend young children’s vocabulary as long as they can understand them within the context. I am doing 31×31 as well and am gearing up for PiBoIdMo as well, I developed quite a few PB stories from last year’s ideas.

  2. I don’t shy away from big words (my son has been lusting after one of those giant dictionaries that you need a podium for for ages now) but nobody’s wanted to publish any of my mss yet so those delicious big words of mine haven’t been shared with the world. 😉

    • Ah, I know exactly what your son is going through. I was the same, and imagine my thrill when I found one on my parents’ bookshelf. I still have it. Alas, no podium.

      As for your big-words manuscripts, I hope they get snatched up soon. 🙂

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