This may be one of those books parents don’t want their children to read—of course, the prohibited is all the more attractive.
Ben is no stranger to spending some time alone in his room: He gets sent there. A lot. Therefore, he has some tips to pass along to readers. First, get the apology out of the way early to avoid further punishment. Next, raid the hiding places where you’ve stashed food. (What?! You mean you don’t have any? Drop this right now and go find some!) To while away the time, Ben makes some tough decisions (regarding his birthday wish list), redecorates his room (tape and magazine cutouts are involved!) and plays with his pets. Sorting baseball cards, organizing collections and making faces at his big brother are also great activities. And since Ben shares a room with said brother, he can usually count on his time being shortened, as his “mom never leaves us alone together in our room.” A page turn shows why. Hand-drawn and digitally colored illustrations bring Ben to life for readers: the gleam in his eye, his mischievous grin, his imagination, his deadpan manner, the false emotions he puts on to apologize. But by the end, readers may be wondering whether Ben purposefully gets sent to time out—it seems to be that much fun.
Parents: Beware what happens behind your child’s closed door when you pronounce: “Go to your room!” (Picture book. 6-9)