A whiz-kid comes up with an invention to stop time.
Elliot hates how bedtime stops his fun every day, so he creates zany inventions to slow the progression of time. His exasperated parents punish him with an even earlier bedtime, telling him, “Because at the end of the day, son, it’s time to go to bed.” This curt rationale leads Elliot to dream up an invention to make “a day that never ends.” He researches a plan with the unwitting school librarian, Mr. Takaki, who explains how the Earth spins on its axis to create the movement from day to night. Inspired, Elliot creates the Sun-Snagger 5000 with magnets, balloons, and a windmill with the hours marked on its vanes in his backyard. Readers must suspend a lot of disbelief to accept that the rickety, homemade contraption stops the Earth’s rotation, achieving his goal of stopping time. At first, Elliot is delighted by the never-ending day, but he soon realizes that an eternal day means no more birthdays, or holidays, or growing up. So he simply turns off the invention, delivering an anticlimactic end to the story, which is weakly remedied by his little sister’s sly, final-page invention to create an eternal night. Elliot and his family present white in the stiff illustrations, which verge on caricature.
Something of a snooze. (Picture book. 4-7)