Having recovered from the world-destroying science project she created in the first Oh No! (2010), Barnett’s overachiever has a new dilemma: Her history test is returned with one point off for an incorrect answer.
Noting that “Belgium” is not the country where the oldest prehistoric cave paintings exist, she devises a solution completely out of proportion to the problem. Using a “Phun Times” Kiddie Pool as a foundation, she builds a time machine to alter history. After a few glitches (landing in a pre-Neanderthal world and then in the French Revolution), she finds her Belgian cavemen. As in the companion story, the digital compositions are framed with black horizontal borders and marked with white vertical lines to establish a cinematic context. The plot unfolds through speech bubbles, the faux-technical diagrams on graph paper covering the endpapers and the extremely funny actions and expressions of Santat’s caricatures. Children will relish the two cavemen’s antics: They stick paintbrushes in their noses, chomp on the palette and spray paint each other. The duo gives the transporter a spin while the frustrated scholar decorates the cave herself. She emerges to find one sporting Napoleon’s hat, a Roman chariot speeding by and other anachronisms—not to mention an “F” on her test, now that history has been rearranged.
Wonderfully ridiculous in premise and execution and abounding in creative touches, this will surely spark student spinoffs. (Picture book. 5-8)