All About Ben Review

Synopsis from Jessica Kingsley Publishers’ Website:

‘When I am ready, I need you to talk to me and help me understand my feelings…’

This reassuring story helps children aged 5+ with attachment issues to understand their feelings, open up to a caring adult and learn how to choose positive behaviours. Ben is made up of lots of different ‘parts’ – to name a few, he has happy, caring, angry, excited, hugging and yelling parts. Ben explains how all these parts are okay, and that a caring adult can help you to understand and manage them more easily.

This book also features activities to help children talk about their feelings, and a simple introduction to attachment theory for adults.

About: All About Ben: Helping Children with Attachment Issues to Understand Their Feelings is a children’s picture book written by Dorothy Markham and Aileen O’Donnell and illustrated by Aileen O’Donnell. It will be published on 5/21/18 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, paperback, 40 pages. The genres are children’s book, picture book, parenting, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 5 and up. According to Jessica Kingsley Publishers’ website, they are “a wholly independent company, committed to publishing books that make a difference.” It was founded in 1987 in London by Jessica Kingsley and has grown since then to now publishing over 250 books a year and recently in 2004 opened a US office in Philadelphia. Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading All About Ben for my 6 years old son as a bedtime story on 4/5/18 and we finished it that same night. This book is fantastic for kids! I love Ben’s feeling parts and examples of when each feeling occurs. My son likes the illustration of Ben’s inside parts because he can see Ben’s ribs and then locate his own ribs. I like the bright colors in the illustrations. I like Ben’s different locations, especially on top of his tree house. My son likes the different feeling faces. My son likes Ben’s dog.

This book follows Ben who is 8 years old. There are drawings of Ben with all of his inside and outside parts clearly labeled, such as hair, eyes, ribs, heart, etc. Another is an illustration that show Ben’s action parts: running, jumping, and kicking and feeling parts such as happy, sad, and scared. Readers will see how each of Ben’s feelings act out when he is put in certain situation. Please refer to pictures I took of the book in this review. The book also ask readers to share his/her feelings after reading a few examples. There are advices for talking and listening skills to help kids manage their feelings and actions.

A well written picture book, All About Ben present an excellent display of feelings and actions taken in a given situation. I like that the authors convey how feeling parts affect action parts. This book is ideal for kids to help them identify their feelings and understand how their actions are shaped through those feelings. I like the organization of this book with each page identifying a feeling then an action, and then a cause and effect. I like the advices at the end of the book about finding who to talk to or find someone to listen to when kids’ are going through feelings they don’t understand. This book is very helpful and I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Pro: interactive, illustrations, feelings and actions identification, talking and listening skills

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Jessica Kingsley Publishers

About the Authors & Illustrator:

Dorothy Markham is a manager, social worker, counsellor and agency decision maker, with considerable experience in setting up and managing an individual counselling service, and a wide range of social work services for children, families and the elderly. In 2002, she set up Cairn Mhor Childcare Partnership, a therapeutic residential childcare organisation, which has four homes in central Fife, UK. She followed this up in 2004 by setting up the Muirhead Outreach Project, which endeavours to work with young people and their families to prevent the young people being taken into care. Dorothy was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours List for services to children, young people and their families in Fife.

Aileen O’Donnell is a registered nurse. She has worked in a variety of services and settings throughout her career, and was involved in the development of a national project promoting healthy living for deaf-blind people in Scotland, UK. Aileen currently works in a school, and uses her gift as an artist to engage with children, through stories and a range of therapeutic interventions. (Authors info obtained from

More Information about Jessica Kingsley Publishers

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


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