Author: Rhee, Helena Ku
Accompanying his parents to their night-shift jobs as office cleaners, young Daniel reluctantly joins in as they use their imaginations to transform the deserted building into a magnificent paper kingdom where he might one day rule.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 508838
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/19)
School Library Journal (00/01/20)
Booklist (+) (12/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2019 *Starred Review* Parents in picture books may be seen coming from or going to work, but they’re rarely seen at work, especially with jobs that are backbreaking and poorly paid. This picture book, like Karen Hesse’s Night Job (2018), shows parents on the night shift doing janitorial work. Here a family of three lives in an apartment so small that their little boy, Daniel, must sleep in a corner of the room. We see how fragile the social support is for them when the babysitter cancels, and the parents, who clean an office building at night, must take a very tired Daniel to work with them, driving their old, beat-up car. The illustrations, done by renowned French American artist Campion, are wonderful at showing both the reality of work (the parents sweat and sneeze and struggle) and a luminous imaginary world (the building they enter looks like a menacing robot’s gigantic head), complete with traces of friendly dragons—a fiction that the parents create in order to help get their boy through the night. The ending delivers a socially conscious message, with the boy resolving to be nice to the dragons (aka workers) when he becomes the Paper King (boss) one day. Enchanting and powerful. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 1–3—When his babysitter calls in sick, young Daniel is taken by his parents to their job cleaning an office after hours. The empty building initially scares and confuses Daniel. He doesn't understand why his mother and father have to clean it. They explain that the office is home to the Paper King and a bunch of dragons who leave trash everywhere. Although his parents insist that the dragons don't mean to be messy, Daniel is incensed by the injustice. But he is soothed when his parents tell him that one day, he can be king and tell the dragons to be less messy. Campion's illustrations are gentle and colorful. He conveys the family's economic status on the first page when we see Daniel sleeping in the same room as the stove and dining table. The perspective of some scenes is off; however, there are also subtle details like the characters' reflections in the shiny, freshly mopped floors. The text is mostly composed of Daniel's questions and his parents' explanatory dialogue, but it also alludes to how hard their work is. They sweat, sneeze, cough, and rub their necks as they clean the office board room. VERDICT Inspired by the author's own life, this is an uplifting story of a family working hard to make things better for the next generation.—Chance Lee Joyner, Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, NH - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.