Around the Clock
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the silly kids in Roz Chast's Around the Clock aren't particularly well-behaved. Even when they mean well, they skew toward disruptive, such as the well-intentioned boy proud of his "perfect" table, set with a saw and hammer among the everyday forks and knives. Sensitive kids might be unsettled by the unseen consequences for the more problematic behavior. Provocative and absurd humor is likely to strike a chord with kids.
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What's the Story?
Peek into the lives of 23 eccentric kids over the course of a day, hour by hour. The day starts at 6 a.m. with Pete, who's drinking from his favorite cup amid a wrecked, sticky mess of a kitchen. As the day goes on, we stop in on Don, digging a hole to France in his fanciest pants, Sophie sobbing over liver surprise for dinner, Dave working on his sock museum, and John Paul fretting over wires in his bedroom wall. The book closes with Pete again, awakening from a dream that gives a nod to Maurice Sendak's surreal best.
Is It Any Good?
Famed New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast's quirky characters are always a touch off-kilter; even when they're happy, they seem a bit manic. Her rhyming text is spare and simple with a few good vocabulary words ("chartreuse," "morsel") sprinkled in.
Chast's frenetic artwork is the heart of this picture book, but it may not appeal to every child (or parent). The characters are scaled big and look like teens and adults, making it more difficult for young ones to relate to them, and the dense artwork might overwhelm some. And the sly humor isn't to everyone's taste. But many more will enjoy the giddy style and savor the abundant humorous touches in each one- and two-page illustration.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how they think other people's days are similar to or different from their own. What do parents do while children are asleep? How does your morning routine compare with your teacher's, or your best friend's, or a relative's?
Are there any worries that keep you up in the middle of the night?
Try making a 24-hour book depicting your own day.
- Author: Roz Chast
- Illustrator: Roz Chast
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Atheneum
- Publication date: January 13, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Irresistible collection of clever, hilarious poems.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Classic morality tale is wildly entertaining.
Where the Wild Things Are
Classic all-ages masterpiece has a wild imagination.
For kids who love picture book and humor
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