School Library Journal:
K-Gr 2–Directed to the time-out corner by a pointed finger, a boy contemplates ways to spruce up the place since he spends so much time there. How about a little color? A window? Dinosaurs would be nice. A monster truck? Why the possibilities are endless when you use your imagination. And Mom will love it. A dragon big enough for a foldout, a dump truck full of ice cream, a throne, noisy fire engines, and lots and lots of cupcakes add to the fun. Alas, the pointed finger returns, this time with a bucket and cloth. Neubecker’s large, imaginative illustrations grab readers and hold on tight throughout this bright, bold romp. Energetic and appealing to young artists everywhere, this one is a winner.–C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
Even kids can get the fixer-upper urge—especially when the real estate in question is the time-out corner. “Mom says it’s fine, but I know better. I spend a LOT of time there,” says the refreshingly unapologetic young narrator. So he conjures up a world of excitement that includes a killer view, a fire brigade, a dump truck full of ice cream, and some kingly accoutrements. When Neubecker (What Little Boys Are Made Of) reveals that everything the hero imagines is simultaneously being drawn by him on the walls of the corner, readers won’t have trouble guessing what comes next. Reidy’s (Too Princessy!) descriptive narration (“This corner needs a comfy seat with some pillows... on a throne!”) gets a goose from colorful, comics-style typography. But this is Neubecker’s show, and he’s given plenty of space to let loose. Whether he’s showing a monster and dinosaur–stuffed polka-dotted big wheeler or a landscape filled with cupcakes, spread after spread is a riot of color, goofy fantasy, and well-choreographed freneticism. Ages 3–7.
August and September issues of Kirkus:
A pointed finger sends a boy to a “time out” and into a colorful world he creates with crayons and his overactive imagination. Reidy lets the text come from the punished protagonist: “There’s a corner in my house that needs some fixing up… / Mom says it’s fine, but I know better. I spend a lot of time there.” The boy begins drawing and daydreaming in an infectious, rambling way. Each good idea leads to a bigger, better and more elaborate one. Neubecker increasingly fills the spreads with brightly colored, boldly outlined pictures inspired by the rapid-fire narration. A window leads to flowers, and then additions of dinosaurs, a monster, a monster truck, a truck loaded with ice cream and on and on, until his vivid thoughts completely fill a double gatefold. But readers soon discover that his thoughts are real drawings that make up an elaborate mural over the walls near his corner, which he must now clean up. Readers will relate to the main character’s boredom and spunky reaction. Like Max with his Wild Things, this boy takes control in his own age-appropriate way. Parents and educators may frown at the messy choices made here, but budding artists and those who have ever felt misunderstood will cheer on this “time out” king. Purple footprints leading off the final page point to further creative pursuits.(Picture book. 3-6)