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Benjy's Blanket (Hardback)

Children's Books

By Miguel Gouveia, Illustrations by Raquel Catalina
Imprint: Green Bean Books
Pages: 48
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout
ISBN: 9781784386320
Published: 28th February 2021

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RRP £11.99

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When Benjy is born, his grandfather, a tailor, gives him a beautiful handmade blanket to keep him warm in his cot. As Benjy grows, he takes his blanket with him everywhere. He loves it so much that even when it becomes ragged and stained, he will do anything to stop his mother from throwing it out.

He enlists his resourceful grandfather who cuts, measures and sews and turns the blanket into a coat. Benjy wears the coat every day, morning to night, until it grows too tight and his mother threatens again to throw it away. His grandfather turns it into a waistcoat and when that no longer fits, it becomes a handkerchief, and when the handkerchief is torn beyond repair, it is finally turned into a button. But then Joseph loses the button and his grandfather must come up with an even more imaginative solution – one that will ensure the blanket will last forever.

Based on a traditional Jewish story, this is a beautiful tale of the love between a boy and his grandfather, between a boy and his blanket, the inevitable passing of time and the glorious power of imagination.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I thought that this book was really, really lovely and each page was a delight.

The images in the book suit the story perfectly and it is a story that I loved reading with my daughter. It has a lovely flow to it and it is very well written too.

I thought that the characters were lovely and the bond between Benjy and his grandfather was wonderful.

It is 5 stars from me for this one, very highly recommended!

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I was lucky to be sent an advance copy of this very beautiful story by Netgalley and the publisher Pen & Sword. I liked the description of the book and the illustrated front cover. The book is based on a Jewish story about the love between a boy and his grandfather.
When Benjy was born, his grandfather makes him a beautiful blanket. He loves it and takes it with him everywhere. Like every child’s favourite blanket (or toy) it becomes worn and dirty. As he grows up, his mum wants to throw it away.
Luckily, his clever grandfather is a tailor. Using his scissors, needle and lots of imagination he turns the blanket into a coat. Over time, the cost becomes too small and Benji goes back to Granda for help so he can save his favourite belonging.
Over the years, the blanket is transformed into different but gradually smaller items that Benjy can love and wear. When Benjy loses the last item (a button) he again goes to his Granda for help. There isn’t a single scrap of the blanket left but the Grandfather still comes up with a new idea for Benji. This time it is something that Benji can keep forever.
This is a wonderful story about family, imagination, making memories and the things that are special to us. I enjoyed the author's of the story and the illustrations make this a beautiful picture book to share with family.

NetGalley, Ayron Dhokia

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is such a sweet book about a boy who loves and appreciates his grandfather so much that he does not want to let go of the gift his grandfather made him as an infant. In the end, there is a great lesson about how physical items can be temporary but memories and love last. It's a charming book that would be a great addition to youth collections.

NetGalley, Megan Rasmussen

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was an emotional read for me.
This is love of a grandson towards his grandpa.

He valued the gift made by his grandpa and cherished it for his whole life.

In an age where kids don't value the things given to them by their elders, this story is an eye opener for many.

NetGalley, Pooja Banga

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have nothing but praise for this book, it’s author’s story and the illustrator. It’s a beautiful story with a clever and unexpected ending. Pure enjoyment within its pages and a solid 5/5 stars from me.

NetGalley, Tina Milledge

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Nice new telling of Joseph Had a Little Overcoat story! It would be nice story for a child who has a favourite blanket, with a suggestion of how to preserve it through the years. Kids are going to love this story. Illustrations were sweet and worked will with the tale.

NetGalley, Catherine Hankins

This is a really nice and heartwarming story about a boy who really values the blanket he got from his grandfather as a baby, and the way the two of them bond by continuing to create new ways to preserve it. It really brought a smile to my face!

NetGalley, Marte Olsen

A very good young read, that pitches well for those fresh to reading a couple of hundred words in one go yet will appeal to many other age groups. A young baby gets crafted a comfort blanket as a toddler by his tailor of a grandfather, but demands it get rescued from the trash when it's seen better days. And so it becomes a jacket instead, and that in turn needs to turn into something else, and the same applies to the leftovers of that and so on down the line. Watching the lad get older and the tailor get frailer through these pages I have to say the ending was not perhaps the best ever, but was certainly not the one I was expecting. A strong visual style, with a subdued palette of few bright colours, indicates as much the gritty make-and-make-do nature of the characters as it does the fantastical life of the fabric concerned. A strong four stars for this clever modern fable then, with its softly-spoken moral of keeping up the life in our possessions and in our families and friendships. Make matter matter, if you like – and this book will matter to quite a few who pick it up.

NetGalley, John Lloyd

Heartwarming story about a bond between a boy and his grandfather, and how Benjy became attached to a blanket his grandfather made.
My daughter adores her grandad and can imagine them curled up reading this together.
Lovely book that I would recommended to anyone.

NetGalley, Kirstie Jones

About Miguel Gouveia

Miguel Gouveia was born in Santo Tirso, Portugal. He started telling stories as a teacher in 2001 and seven years later he created Bruaá Editora. In 2010, after finishing his Master’s Degree in Books and Children’s Literature as the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, he left teaching to devote himself to publishing, translation and music. Since then he has been storytelling in libraries, bookshops, schools and at festivals, with a repertoire made out of the oral tradition of different cultures.


About Raquel Catalina

Raquel Catalina was born in Madrid in 1973 where she studied Fine Arts. Her career as an illustrator started in 2010 after moving to Valencia where she studied a postgraduate degree in illustration at Spain's ESAT (Escuela Superior de Arte y Tecnología). Since then, she has worked as a children's illustrator for prestigious publishers. Her work has been exhibited in Spain, Portugal and Mexico. Her portfolio can be seen at www.raquelcatalina.com

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