This lively picture book offers a great way to talk to kids about history: not the statesmen and generals but the lives of ordinary people at home. A boy who has already loaded the dishwasher, dusted off his video games, and picked up his toys wants to know why he has to make his bed. It’s “just going to get messed up again.” His complaints remind his mother of a story about when his grandmother was a little girl and fumed that she had already washed the dishes, dusted the rock ’n’ roll records, and picked up her hula hoops. Why did she have to make her bed? Her mother remembers her grandfather as a little boy, and the stories continue right back to cave times (“Me hunt mammoth. Me dust stalagmites”). Of course, young kids won’t get the exact time periods, but they will enjoy imagining kids’ messy daily lives and elemental standoffs long ago, all shown in the detailed, pencil-and-paint images, and for older readers, there are final notes about chores through the ages. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 14, 2010:
"With its clever premise, keenly observed visual comedy, and easygoing pedagogy (an excellent afterword draws more directly on scholarship), this book deserves a place on the shelves next to the Magic School Bus series."
Review, Booklist, January 1, 2011:
"This lively picture book offers a great way to talk to kids about history: not the statesmen and generals but the lives of ordinary people at home."
Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2011:
"A clever history book likely to spark conversations about times gone by."