What Are You Doing, Benny?

Cary Fagan, illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. Tundra, $17.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-77049-857-0
This amusing tale of two young foxes by Fagan (Little Blue Chair) captures the ups and downs of sibling relationships. Benny’s little brother wants to join in on the fun as Benny paints in the treetops, rides his bike, and scratches a cat, but each time he shows enthusiasm (“I’m terrific at making potions”), Benny responds with a cool “No.” This doesn’t stop the younger sibling from pestering, nor Benny from dismissing him, even if Benny does continually stop by the younger’s burrow room to check in. Finally, fed up with the constant rejections, including Benny’s refusal to make him a splendid-looking sandwich, the younger fox decides to set up his own puppet show, starring a frog-and-crocodile duo playing out a situation similar to his own (“No, no, no!” says the haughty croc). When Benny re-enters the room with his own requests, it becomes clear that turnabout is fair play—at least until a peace-brokering sandwich appears. Earth-toned ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations by Denton (A Visitor for Bear) convey sibling dynamics with aplomb, lending a certain timelessness to this relationship. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 04/02/2019
Genre: Children's
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