cover image What to Do When You’re Sent to Your Room

What to Do When You’re Sent to Your Room

Ann Stott, illus. by Stephen Gilpin. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6052-9

Ben, the hero of this funny how-to, has spent so much time in his bedroom that he’s wallpapered an entire corner with photos torn out of a sports magazine. “My entire room should be completed by the summer,” he notes with... pride? Yes, Ben assures readers, being sent to one’s room as punishment can be the epitome of “me time” for the well-prepared kid: productive (“This is also a good time to sort my baseball cards”) and reflective (when better to decide what video games he wants as birthday gifts?). Ben can even improve his “special-ops skills” with the help of his expressive pug, who joins him during his temporary banishment. Gilpin (100 Snowmen), working in an exaggerated cartoon realism reminiscent of Mad magazine, has created a ne plus ultra of a messy boys’ room, and his portrayal of Ben is very much in sync with the cool confidence and strategic smarts articulated in Stott’s (I’ll Be There) matter-of-fact first-person narration. It just confirms what parents have feared all along: going to one’s room isn’t exactly doing hard time. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)