Why is Benji bear about to cry? Is Uncle Harry’s guitar playing really that bad?
Originally, I wanted to do a story that had a hip-hop or rap rhythm.
At the time it was hot, and my son loved to run around everywhere in his vest and underpants. One day he wanted to go outside and play like that and I said. “You can’t go out there in your underwear!” and he said, “Why can’t I go out there?” and I said, “Well, because people will stare.” or something like that.
Then I thought…hmm…that first part rhymes, and it has a kind of hip-hop feel, so I started to play around with those lines and turned it into a hip-hop song.
The hip-hop song naturally made it’s own story.
My son also was always asking me to come and play outside with him, when his friends were not around. At the time I was very busy with work, so I felt guilty, often saying no. This gave me another idea for the book.
Benji goes and asks everyone in his family to come and play, but they’re all too busy. He gets sadder and sadder. At the end his uncle says okay, and Benji is very happy, but poor Benji has a tear in his underwear (because tear rhymes with underwear!) His mom gives him new underwear, and they go and play.
Happy ending for little Benji!