Parents' Guide to

The 13 Clocks

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Classic reprint full of wordplay and silly humor.

The 13 Clocks Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

It's pretty gross....

Eye got put by a bird?! Killed and sword and fed to geese? These are pretty gross...

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This tongue-in-cheek fairy tale is simply loaded with wit and wordplay, sophisticated enough to keep adults engaged while children enjoy the story. The New York Review of Books, as part of the estimable "Children's Collection" of reprints of forgotten classics, brings a treasure back to life with their hardcover reproduction of the original edition of THE 13 CLOCKS, with illustrations by Marc Simont and a new foreword by Neil Gaiman. The high level of vocabulary and clever use of language make this work better as a read-aloud than a read-alone for elementary-age kids, an experience adults will enjoy as much as their children.

Thurber, and his New Yorker contemporary E.B. White wrote children's books that are just different from anything else in the field. Perhaps it's their combination of verbal sophistication and quirky humor, perhaps just the oddly skewed view of the world that working at Ross' magazine might entail. But whatever it is, it has enabled them to stand the test of time. The 13 Clocks may not be to every modern child's taste, but for those who enjoy a bit of clever humor and verbal playfulness, it will be a treat.

Book Details

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