Perfect Picture Book Friday! What Are You Doing, Benny? by Cary Fagan

What Are You Doing, Benny?
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
36 pages – ages 5+
Published by Tundra Books on April 23, 2019

Theme/Topic- Siblings
Opening- “Benny?
Hey, Benny! What are you doing, Benny? Building a fort?”
Synopsis from Publisher- “Benny’s little brother is really good at a lot of things — making potions and paper airplanes, building forts, putting on puppet shows, even petting the neighbor’s cat (he has a special way of scratching her just behind the ears). But whenever he tries to join in Benny’s activities, all Benny ever says is “No.” Maybe his little brother can watch him do cool stuff, if he’s lucky. What is a little fox to do, except give Benny a taste of his own medicine?”

What I Liked- I love the simplicity of this book – Hagan tells a story that any sibling can relate to. Denton’s illustrations have this wonderful, old-timey feel to them, reminding me of something that Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl’s iconic illustrator, might do (although, in a much more positive manner than anything that Blake usually makes). I like that – it gives the book such a classic feel. This was such a fun book to read, and I think it would make a great read-aloud.

Activities and Resources- has some great puppetry activities HERE!
If your kids aren’t so much into puppetry, has a great list of sibling bonding activites HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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5 replies

  1. Can’t wait to read this one!!!!

  2. Great book! So fun. I like to build forts, too. Actually, I just go under the covers on Mom’s bed. It’s the best fort ever!

    Love and licks,

  3. Oh, those illustrations are a fond throwback aren’t they? This book looks pretty adorable.

  4. This is something my son, an only child, never had to deal with. But so many kids do and can relate to this constant surveillance. This looks really cute. I’ll have to find a copy and have a look. Thanks for the rec, Erik!

  5. Those illustrations are making me nostalgic!

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