The Book of Time Outs: A Mostly True History of the World's Biggest Troublemakers


The next time you get a time out, take this book and read about the most famous and infamous rabble-rousers in history, from Queen Cleopatra to Babe Ruth!

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The next time you get a time out, take this book and read about the most famous and infamous rabble-rousers in history, from Queen Cleopatra to Babe Ruth!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Just the title of this tongue-in-cheek catalogue of historical scofflaws is enough to attract readers. In her first children's book, Lucke sustains kids' interest with a larkish mix of humor, wordplay and historical references, served up with witty, full-spread paintings. Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, is portrayed as a spoiled child: "He saw Italy and said, 'Mine.' He pointed to Holland, Spain, Austria, Russia, and England and said, "Mine, all mine,'A " which, the author notes, earned him two timeouts on two separate islands. He is shown sitting petulantly, burning maps of Europe; Lucke renders him, like the other subjects, with an outsize head, and against a dramatic backdrop (in this case, in an entirely red room). A breezy narrative whips across the centuries, highlighting the "transgressions" of 14 historical figures, among them Cleopatra, Bach, Susan B. Anthony and Babe Ruth. Some ambiguous references might inspire readers to do a little more research: What exactly landed Louis Armstrong in a youth home? What kind of "time out" did Rosa Parks get for refusing to give up her seat on the bus? A lively path into history. Ages 6-9. (Apr.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Assuring readers that "you're not the first to have a time out, you're not the worst," Lucke presents 14 of the badly behaved from history-including Cleopatra the "Phighting Pharaoh," Isabella the "Not-So-Clean Queen" (she claimed to have bathed only twice in her life) and the "Armee Brat" Napoleon: "He looked at Germany and said, ‘Mine.' He saw Italy and said, ‘Mine.' " Unfortunately, she wastes her promising premise by skipping over nearly all of the actual details ("In 1717 Bach was given a time out for ‘stubbornness'), and by not checking her facts carefully-no, Rosa Parks did not become an activist after she was arrested, and no, she did not receive the Congressional Medal of Honor (she did win the Congressional Gold Medal). The painted gallery of recognizable figures scowling, pouting, having tantrums and sitting in corners can't compensate for the anemic text; steer readers instead to titles in the Horrible Histories series. No source citations, either. (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416928294
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/8/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,339,053
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for Kids @

    In this absolutely hilarious book, children and parents alike are treated to a "Who's Who?" list of troublemakers, beginning all the way back with the Carthaginian General, Hannibal, and ending with Rosa Parks, who got a time out for doing something that wasn't even really wrong! <BR/><BR/>Deb Lucke presents each character, from Christopher Columbus to Johann Sebastian Bach to Babe Ruth, as people who made mistakes -- and had to pay the price by getting a time out! There's a lesson to be learned in each short story, whether it be the importance of telling the truth or the fact that it's a bad idea to be a marauding pirate, and it's all done with humour and in a way that's easy for kids to understand. <BR/><BR/>This isn't a book that tells youngsters it's okay to do something they know is wrong, but it is a book that tells them that everyone makes mistakes. And, sometimes, the only way to make up for those mistakes is with a good old-fashioned time out! <BR/><BR/>This is one title that's sure to be a winner for all ages!

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