Monday, November 15, 2010

Time Is When

What is time and how do you explain this elusive concept to a preschooler? In 1960, when her son was three, Beth Gleick answered his questions about time in a picture book, Time Is When. Gleick starts off her book with, "Time is from before to now; from now to later." She then goes on to explain the different units of time: a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, ending with a year and its seasons. She also touches upon that most important mark of time (at least from a child's perspective)--one's birthday. Each unit is compared to something that a young child is familiar with, such as, "In one minute, you can walk one block (if you walk quickly and don't stop to look in store windows)."  

In 2008, Time Is When was republished with new illustrations by Marthe Jocelyn. Using the medium of collage, Jocelyn snips and pastes pieces of fabric, paper, and trimmings to create visually exciting illustrations of children experiencing time. The book open with a parade of children marching toward the reader. The facing page shows the parade marching away, cleverly showing how time has already passed. Young readers will pore over the illustrations with delight as they notice the many whimsical details, such as the photograph of wolves pasted on a TV screen that a young boy is watching.

This book is highly recommended. Be sure to carve out the time to order a copy.

Today's host for Nonfiction Monday is In Need of Chocolate.

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