Cleary and Gable’s cool cats tackle the topic of time.
“Time can be measured in seconds, in minutes, in days, or in weeks, months, or years / by watches or calendars, cell phones, computers, or clocks that ticktock with their gears.” Beginning with seconds, Cleary tackles each of these time measurements (as well as hours and decades), describing the things that can be done in each—four rounds of the birthday song might take a minute, for instance, while “If you rode your bike or you skated an hour, your legs would sure have to be strong!”—and how they compare to the others, i.e., seven days in a week and 60 minutes in an hour. Some of these explanations are better than others, though; the description of the number of days in a month is scant, and only February is mentioned (as having 28 days, 29 every four years). Cleary’s rhyming verses sometimes limp along, throwing off both meaning and rhythm to match the rhyme scheme. Gable’s cats are as full of personality as ever, and there are humorous situations aplenty in his artwork, though time is quite a tricky concept to try to illustrate.
Not as successful as some of their grammar and other math titles, still, this may help teachers put time in perspective. (Math picture book. 5-9)