Time Flies

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Time Flies Book Poster Image
Wordless time-travel tale sparks imaginations.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What 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.

Talk to your kids 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.).

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