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)