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Children's Fiction Imagination & Play

And What If I Won't?

by (author) Maureen Fergus

illustrated by Qin Leng

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2015
Imagination & Play, Manners & Etiquette, Parents, Humorous Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


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.

About the authors


Maureen Fergus est auteure lauréate de plusieurs livres pour enfants et jeunes adultes, dont The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten, Et si je ne veux pas? et les livres de la série Buddy and Earl. Elle vit à Winnipeg, au Manitoba.


Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults, including The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten and the Buddy and Earl series of books. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mike Lowery has illustrated many books for children, including The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten and A Squiggly Story. Mike lives in Decatur, Georgia.


Maureen Fergus' profile page

Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of five, she moved with her family to Bordeaux, France, where she spent the next four years. Soon after, she moved to Montreal, where she spent the rest of her childhood. Having been born in Asia but raised in the West, she uses both cultures as her source of inspiration. Looking at her illustrations, one can see the presence of both East and West.Qin Leng comes from a family of artists, where the visual senses have always been of the utmost importance. She grew up watching her father work with acrylics, pastel, and ink. Father and daughter often spent their days drawing side by side. Drawing first started as a hobby, but soon became a way of expression.Despite her many years of study to become a biologist, Qin decided at the age of 20 to follow the same path as her father and enrolled in the School of Cinema to study Film Animation at Concordia University. She has produced animated shorts, which were nominated in various nationa

Qin Leng's profile page


  • Unknown, A Junior Library Guild selection
  • Unknown, A Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Book for Kids and Teens (starred selection)

Excerpt: And What If I Won't? (by (author) Maureen Fergus; illustrated by Qin Leng)

"Benny, please put your plate in the sink."

"What would you do if I said no?" asked Benny.

"I'd tell you that just saying no is rude," replied his mom. "Then I'd explain why it's important to help out around the house."
"Well," said Benny, "what would you do if I said that I liked being rude, that I didn't care about helping out around the house, and then I chucked my plate across the room?"

Editorial Reviews

"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

"[A] playful picture book about pushing the boundaries of parental patience."

The 49th Shelf

"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

"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

"The book illustrates how "Because I said so," really means "Because I love you"."

Andrew Kaufman

"An outrageously, tongue-in-cheek, funny book where readers will be horrified and laughing out loud at the same time... A "must enjoy" for families with a child showing his or her independence."

California Kids Magazine

"Deals with increasing consequences for bad behaviour in a humorous way."

Quill & Quire

"Explores challenging the status quo in a creative way."

The National Post

"Children may enjoy the outlandish naughtiness and far-fetched consequences."

School Library Journal

Other titles by Maureen Fergus

Other titles by Qin Leng

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