Benji, the Bad Day, and Me
By Sally Pla
Illustrated by Ken Min
Nothing seems to be going right for Sammy today. At school, he got in trouble for kicking a fence, then the cafeteria ran out of pizza for lunch. After he walks home in the pouring rain, he finds his autistic little brother Benji is having a bad day too. On days like this, Benji has a special play-box where he goes to feel cozy and safe. Sammy doesn't have a special place, and he's convinced no one cares how he feels or even notices him. But somebody is noticing, and may just have an idea on how to help Sammy feel better.
In this tender story about siblings, author Sally J. Pla shares her experience of raising sons with different personality traits and needs. Benji, the Bad Day, and Me embraces the philosophy that we are all part of a wide spectrum of neurodiversity. And on those really bad, rotten days, you can always count on family to be there for you.
About the Creators
SALLY J. PLA is the award-winning author of two novels for young people, The Someday Birds and Stanley Will Probably Be Fine. Many of Pla's stories are based on her experience of raising three active little boys, very close in age. When her sons were young and having a bad day, they loved being "made into burritos" -- getting wrapped tightly in their blankets. The tight pressure appealed especially to Pla's autistic son. Pla lives with her family in Southern California. You can find her online at sallyjpla.com.
KEN MIN's picture book debut Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-Ji, published by Lee & Low Books, received the Picture Book Honor for Literature from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). Ken is an illustrator and animation storyboard artist for commercials and animated TV shows such as Futurama, Fairly Odd Parents, and New Looney Tunes. His illustration work has been recognized numerous times by the Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Min lives in Los Angeles, California. You can see more of his artwork online at kenminart.com. Photo: Ryan Astamendi