When you see the title you know what the rest of the sentence has to be, and when you see the wordless first opening you know what the ""something awful"" is: a little girl in pigtails and jumper kicks a football around until it breaks a vase on the mantle. The rest consists of her dreaming up offenses--would you love me if I got crayons on the carpet? pulled down the drapes? pinched the baby?--and her mother assuring her that yes, she'd love her even if she did far worse things, but she'd make her repair the damage. Finally, the real offense is revealed and Mother answers consistently: ""I'd love you [even] if it wasn't an accident. But I also might be mad. . . and send you to your room. . . and cry a little and pick up the pieces. . . . But I'd still love you. . . and I always will."" Psychologically correct no doubt, but flat even in its naughty imaginings. Kincade's little girl has a trace of perky appeal, but overall her line-and-wash pictures have no more spark than the story.