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Children's Fiction General

Ben Over Night

by (author) Sarah Ellis

illustrated by Kim LaFave

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Mar 2005
General, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, General
Recommended Age
4 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2005
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2005
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Ben likes nothing more than to go over to Peter's house. When the two friends play together, Ben can be anything he wants: a pirate, a musician, a cook. He can even be a potato! But when it comes to sleepovers, all Ben can think about is going home - right away. He doesn't like the strange bed or the unfamiliar noises in the night. And he doesn't have his own cat to warm his tummy.

Mum and Dad try to come up with some ideas, but flashlights and familiar blankets don't make Ben feel better. Joe offers to come along for protection, but Ben doesn't want his big brother going on sleepovers with him. It looks like Ben just can't be a sleepover-nighter. Or can he?

A delightful sequel to the bestseller Big Ben, this is the perfect book for preschoolers and beginner readers who are facing their own overnight challenges or have younger siblings who might need a little encouragement.

About the authors

Sarah Ellis is one of Canada's most-loved children's writers. A former librarian, she is a highly sought-after children's book reviewer, literary jury member and speaker who lectures internationally on Canadian children's books. She is the winner of the Governor General's Award (Pick-Up Sticks), the Mr. Christie's Award (Out of the Blue and The Several Lives of Orphan Jack) and the Sheila A. Egoff Award (The Baby Project, Back of Beyond and Odd Man Out). Further accolades for Odd Man Out include the prestigious TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List, ALA Notable Book for Older Readers, Maine State Library Cream of the Crop List and OLA Best Bets - Top 10 Fiction for Children. Sarah Ellis has also won the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. Sarah is on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sarah Ellis' profile page

Kim LaFave is a prolific picture book artist with many titles to his name, including Amos's Sweater, Ben Over Night, and Big Ben, which earned him the Mr. Christie's Book Award Silver Seal. He has also won the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award. Kim lives on the west coast of Canada, in Robert's Creek, British Columbia.

Kim LaFave's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This dynamic author-illustrator team have produced a visually and emotionally striking picture book. Sarah Ellis' use of language is simple yet poignant. LaFave's use of bold colour and shapes creates images that leap off the pages, immediately captivating the reader.

"Few books deal so well with the issue of sleeping over night and the basic fears associated with this common practice. Ellis and LaFave show, with elegant simplicity, how a few clever ideas can help a child overcome his fears and "be" anything he wants."
Highly recommended.
CM Magazine

"LaFave's bright, striking illustrations have black outlines and capture the exuberance of pretended play. . . The child-centred text makes this perfect for discussions of night time separation worries."
School Library Journal

"Familiar characters and a strangely common dilemma for many young children, this fine book allows them a chance to talk about their fears, and compare how Ben feels to what they also feel when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. "
Brandon Sun

"As with her first Ben book, Ellis shows her empathetic understanding of a preschooler's worldview. And illustrator Kim LaFave shows their vibrant energy."
City Parent

Other titles by Sarah Ellis

Other titles by Kim LaFave