Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book Nominations: The Book of Time Outs

Title: The Book of Time Outs: A Mostly True History of the World's Biggest Troublemakers
Author and Illustrator: Deb Lucke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source of book: received from publisher

Talk about an attention getting title! Every kid is familiar with time outs, and a book about "troublemakers" is sure to further spark the interest of children.

The Book of Time Outs includes a series of short biographical sketches about the more notorious or outspoken men and women who have made their mark on history. We read about Napoleon, who earned a very big time out on the island of St. Helena. We also read about people who made "trouble" because of unjust conditions that existed at the time, such as Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks. We also read about Columbus, Bach, Isabella of Castille, Hannibal, and several others.

Humor, when appropriate, is interjected within the text and illustrations (I particularly enjoyed the illustration of Hannibal in his cell, being glared at by a very aggravated elephant. The pieces on Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony are respectful.

Do you know children who think history is boring? ? This book may just be the ticket to turn around their thinking. I wouldn't recommend The Book of Time Outs for a homework assignment, but not every nonfiction book needs to be like that. It's important to have fun nonfiction reads, and I think The Book of Time Outs fits that bill very nicely.

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