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When Benny’s mother asks him to put his dirty plate in the sink, he responds by asking: What would you do if I said no?” Her answer is predictable, but not enough for Benny, whose what if?” line of questioning continues as he dreams up increasingly naughty behavior: What if he threw his plate at the wall? What if he jumped on the couch in muddy rain boots? What if he tore pages out of library books? Playing on their shared sense of humor and imagination, and showing more than a little bit of indulgence, his mother’s answers become equally outrageous. She sends Benny off to the zoo, sells him to the circus, and even happily shoots him off into outer space as punishment for his behavior. Digitally rendered illustrations with a loose, expressive line play out each imagined scenario, with differing color treatment making the distinction between the real and the fantastic clear. The story’s circular ending brings it all back home with a cleverand entirely reasonablepunchline.
Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Several of her books have been translated into other languages. She currently lives in Winnipeg with her husband, three kids, a dog, a hedgehog, and a Siamese fighting fish!
Qin Leng illustrates children’s books and magazines and designs backgrounds for animated television series. She has illustrated numerous books that have been published in many countries around the world. She currently lives in Toronto with her twin sister.