A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Starting at 6 a.m., Around the Clock peeks in on 23 kids over 24 hours. Many of their activities are time-appropriate (eating lunch, brushing teeth, dreaming in bed). Overnight, their activities are especially silly: tending a moonlit garden, playing drums, and eating cake.
People have unique habits, hobbies, joys, fears, and dreams.
Positive Role Models
A few kids show admirable qualities -- trying to set the table, caring for a garden -- but they're far outnumbered by kids causing mischief. Parents are minimally present, seen coaxing a child to eat, fetching water at bedtime, and looking aghast at a hole dug in the yard.
Violence & Scariness
Nothing significant. One girl watches a monster clutching a woman on TV, another has a tantrum.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.