Character Publishing (2014)
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 12) for Reader Views Kids (07/14)
“Benton Believes” by Kimberly Bugbee is a book about Benton, a youngish boy who finds that he feels unsatisfied with his life. He is just giving in to the reality of being miserable forever when he finds an unlikely friend in Eli. Eli is a chameleon who is here to help Benton find happiness in the world by using GPV. GPV stands for gratitude, positivity, and visualization. Over the course of the next three weeks, Benton begins to use GPV to help him find happiness everywhere he looks.
Throughout the book were fun facts semi-related to what was going on in the book. For example, there was an explanation of the origin of basketball and the first hoops. The black and white illustrations were interesting, and it was kind of fun to look for the magic pen hidden in every drawing.
I would recommend “Benton Believes” by Kimberly Bugbee to people who, like Benton, are finding it hard to appreciate the world around them and need some inspiration to help them find happiness. To make sure that reader understands the book, there are six comprehension and discussion questions at the end. In addition, there are spaces for the reader to write what he is grateful for, and how to use positive thinking and visualization to change the reader’s life for the better. While this book may be helpful to children needing to improve their outlook, it did not have a particularly engaging plot.