Mark Collins’ greatest talent lies in his illustrations. The cartoonish exaggeration will make children laugh out loud. It is the first day of holidays, and Ben is going to make the most of it. He rides his bike, hunts for sharks, paints a picture, jumps in puddles, and does far, far more. The little boy’s exuberance and delight with his experiences is clearly apparent on every page. His gentle enthusiasm for life is contagious.
The story is more of an anecdote than a plot. Ben is happy that it is the first day of summer and he isn’t going to waste a minute. He enjoys the day to the fullest and collapses happily into bed when night arrives. The rhyming text, sometimes ABAC and sometimes rhyming couplets, are well matched to the fast, fun filled pace of the child’s adventures.
There is no conflict in the story, no rising tension, no problem to solve. It is a simple romp from dawn till dusk. Not once does Ben resort to any screens for entertainment. Many of his toys and activities could be done by any child. This would be a great book to share with the child on holiday who says, “I’m bored.”