When approaching any project involving creativity, young people need a place to start. Asher feels that finding ideas for writing projects is most of the battle. By stimulating aspiring writers with such questions as ""What if?,"" ""Why?"" and ""How many ways can a thing be done?,"" she hopes to inspire them to flights of fantasy and fable. Alternate chapters tell ""Stories behind the Stories,"" quoting from writers of children's books who have responded to the query in the title. Their answers range from honest attempts to give kids information to flip, glib quickies. Since half the book is taken up by these quotes, some depth and more detail would have been desirable in most cases. Experienced writers will point out that getting an idea is only the beginning; development, plotting (covered loosely in a brief section ""Describe the problem. . ."" ""Find the solution. . .""), characterization, and, most important, love for language are equally important. Illustrations by Susan Hellard are fey and sometimes funny, but not profound.