Have you ever wanted one thing – just one thing – more than anything else in the world? A toy? A new bike? A computer game? Did you imagine that this one possession would make you incredibly happy – forever? For Benji that one thing is an enormous orange kite.
In BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis Publishing; August 2018), bestselling author Alan C. Fox tells the enchanting story of a young boy who learns that possessing something is not quite as meaningful as letting it go.
Benji adores kites. All kinds of kites – big or small, plain or fancy, square or diamond- shaped. He loves flying them at the beach, watching them float high in the sky. One day Benji sees a giant orange kite at the toy store. He wants it more than anything else – ever. But his mom explains that he’ll need to earn the money to buy the kite. So Benji buckles down and weeds the garden for the next two weeks – the vegetables in the morning and the flowers in the afternoon. It seems like he’ll never be done.
Finally the special day arrives, and Benji’s mom hands him the giant orange kite of his dreams. At the beach, Benji lets his kite soar higher and higher with every gust of wind. He watches it rise above the people, the hotdog stand, and even the houses beyond. Soon the kite becomes a distant speck in the sky. Benji is thrilled. But when it’s time to pull the kite down and head back home, Benji can’t bear to do it. He wants to set the kite free to fulfill its destiny among the clouds. Benji lets the twine go and the kite disappears into the sunset sky. The kite may still be up there yet.
Alan Fox explains that like all of his books, “BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE is based on a real-life incident. This one happened when I was a child. I decided to tell the story, because I wanted to share the sense of achievement I felt by working hard to obtain something I really loved. But once I saw the kite flying at the beach, I wanted to let it go. My dream had been accomplished. It was time move on to another, new experience. You must always keep going to fulfill your dreams and aspirations.”
BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE, with illustrations by Eefje Jujil, is the second in Alan Fox’s series of picture books.
The first, BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH, was named a notable children’s book of 2017 by Booklist magazine and has become a much-loved story for youngsters and parents alike.
The 411 by Maria:
I loved this book about an adorable little boy named Benji (FYI this is based on the authors own childhood story) who loves kites. He loves them so much that when he spends his last dollar on them works out a deal with his mom to do extra chores until he has enough for the creme de' la creme of kites which she holds in her closet until he has earned it.
Benji loves the kite and the way it feels so it was shocking when he decided to let it go. I was surprised by the characters actions but not by the story. When we love something, sometimes we must set it free. It is how I feel about my children. For me the kite was a metaphor for my kids. I love them so much, my life is completely wrapped up in them; their wants and needs. Everything I do is for them but one day, I too will feel the tug as they need to move on and live their own lives. I hope I am as strong as Benji and rejoice in the fact that "my dream was accomplished" and now they must fulfill theirs.
I highly recommend this book!
About the author
Alan C. Fox is the bestselling author of three books for adults, PEOPLE TOOLS, PEOPLE TOOLS FOR BUSINESS, and PEOPLE TOOLS FOR LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS. His two children’s books are BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH (Clavis 2017) and BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis 2018). An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and relationships expert, Alan is also the publisher of the poetry magazine, Rattle. He founded a charity that works to maximize the potentional of youth as well as an organization that encourages young people to become active in helping others. Alan lives in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit Alan’s website: alancfox.com
Eefje Juijl, a graduate of the School of the Arts Utrech, creates colorful illustrations for children's books, magazines, postcards and more. She lives in The Netherlands with her partner Philip, her son Guus, daughter Fien, and their dog Jip.
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Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.