Many of Ben's most notable talents continue to go unrecognized by the California State Curriculum Framework.
For example, why can't precision re-enactments of Pixar movies be counted as a critical skill for children entering Kindergarden instead of, say, writing with a pencil?
Then there's Ben's ability to pick up dialects and accents he hears and reproduce them flawlessly.
He's picked up a down Maine accent from an audio book of Robert McCloskey's Burt Dow, Deep Water Man, or as we like to say, "Buuuht Dow, Deep Watah Man."
In Scholastic's video adaptation of Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow, he notices (and reproduces) the difference between how Sarah Jessica Parker reads the word "maah-rigolds" with her east coast dialect instead of how I say "mer-igolds" in the midwestern style.
I've caught him attempting to read an entire book to himself with the Caribbean accent of Sebastian from The Little Mermaid: "Den, de train cahs went to de staaation."
I'm trying to teach him to understand these differences instead of merely parroting them. Especially since often he'll inquire, in his own circuitous way, about why some words sound different. My current talking point goes something like:
In California we say "coffee." In New York, they say, "caw-fee."
And now, there's Welsh.
We have a wonderful Doring Kindersley book of Robin Hood read by actor Ioan Gruffud. He gives one of the characters a Welsh accent.
Ben could not get enough of it, asked us to play a section of dialogue about 25 times in a row and laughed until I thought he was going to pee in his car seat.
He's been imitating it for kicks every once in a while, cracking himself up like crazy.
He agreed to do it for the camera last night.