cover image Time Out!

Time Out!

Ale Barba. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16304-3

This tale about a stint in time out is a standout. It stars a small pig in a striped shirt, and his infraction, shown on the cover, involves skateboarding indoors. An unseen parent’s disembodied words form the story’s text: “That’s it! You’re in Time Out.” The pig hangs its head, and so does his pet bird. After drawing a sporty red spaceship (“What’s going on in there?” asks the parent through the door), pig and bird launch into the cosmos. Astronauts must eat; seen through the porthole, the two blissfully sip milkshakes, surrounded by pizza and popcorn (another view of the ship’s interior shows a nice pool). “I hope you’re really thinking about it,” says the parent, as pig and bird arrive triumphantly on the moon. Barba’s (When Your Elephant Comes to Play) artwork weds Miro’s palette to James Marshall’s glee, and her bold black lines are fueled by imaginative power. In Barba’s story, the divide between the world of the child and the world of the parent is unbridgeable, and there’s no doubt about which is the better place to be. Ages 3–7. Agency: Prospect Agency. (June)