Benji, the Bad Day, and Me
By Publishers Weekly
Sammy, a boy with floppy black hair, had a bad day at school, and back home, he feels overlooked. Sammy’s mother tells him to be quiet—his brother, Benji, is playing in his small, house-shaped “box,” a sign that he, too, is having a rough day. “When I’ve had a bad day, no one tiptoes or speaks softly,” Sammy laments. But when Benji sees that his brother is sad, he comforts him in the best way he knows. In Min’s acrylic and colored pencil art, figures and forms resembling cut paper are set against calm brushed backgrounds. Pla doesn’t overtly state that Benji is autistic (an author’s note explores the topic further) but emphasizes his behaviors and qualities. With a light touch, Pla offers a thoughtful reminder that all siblings need extra love and attention sometimes.