Time Flies

Wordless time-travel tale sparks imaginations.
Caldecott Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Positive messages
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Violence & scariness
Not applicable
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is nothing offensive about this book, but for children sensitive to depictions of dinosaurs, the close-ups of dinos may be a little intense.

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What's the story?

A bird's visit to the natural history museum takes an unexpected turn when he stops in the dinosaur room. Suddenly he's traveling back in time.

Is it any good?


It's no wonder this sumptuous book received the prestigious Caldecott Honor. Eric Rohmann's oil paintings are richly evocative, from the sepia-tinged illustrations of the museum scenes to the realistically hued images of dinosaurs.

Like many wordless picture books, TIME FLIES demands that the audience fill in the missing pieces. In this case the straightforward fantasy invites the reader to get caught up in the adventure one bird has flying back in time. Younger kids who love dinosaurs will simply be happy to visit their favorite creatures while older kids will be intrigued by the mystery and possibility. The realism -- including close-ups of one carnivore's mighty teeth -- might spook very sensitive kids, but the promised happy ending may be satisfying enough to get them through.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they think happened. How did the bird go back in time? Or was he just imagining? Or was the author just imagining? They may want to look at other books that are obviously fantasy and talk about other ways of pretending (pretending at play, pretending on TV, etc.).

Book details

Author:Eric Rohmann
Illustrator:Eric Rohmann
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:March 1, 1994
Number of pages:32
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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