And What If I Won't?

By Maureen Fergus and Qin Leng

From 4 to 7 | 32 pages

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 clever — and entirely reasonable — punchline.

"Children may enjoy the outlandish naughtiness and far-fetched consequences." - School Library Journal
"[A] playful picture book about pushing the boundaries of parental patience." - The 49th Shelf
"Deals with increasing consequences for bad behaviour in a humorous way." - Quill & Quire
"The tone is hilarious, and the form and content are immensely reassuring and creative, with a tinge of the macabre for added fun...testing four and five years olds will love this story as will their moms." - The Midwest Book Review
"Explores challenging the status quo in a creative way." - The National Post
"Fun and light-hearted on the surface, on a deeper level And What If I Won't? gives the sense that there is-or should be-time and space for the imagination." - The National Reading Campaign
"This is a beloved story of a child testing the limits of her independence and a mother who proves that a parent's love is unconditional, even where once again the limits are pushed." - Canadian Review of Materials
"The book illustrates how "Because I said so," really means "Because I love you"." - Andrew Kaufman
A Junior Library Guild selection, 2015
A Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Book for Kids and Teens (starred selection), 2015

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