The chiming, booming, cuckooing and ticking noises of various clocks are celebrated in this enthusiastic, though flawed and poorly titled outing.
A gently anthropomorphized horse and blue jay eagerly await the stroke of 12, killing time by listening to the various sounds of the clocks that surround them: “Thump, thump, thump, thump, / a giant clock ticks. / Tickety-tockety, / Tickety-tockety, / a smaller clock clicks.” Once the clocks read noon, LaCroix drops the rhyming verses to describe in detail the sound of each clock’s chiming, using excellent verb and adverb choices to “play” the sound for readers: “Bum, bum, bum, bummmm, serenades the anniversary clock sweetly.” Chalek’s paintings provide vital clues to readers, who may not be familiar with the wide variety of clocks presented in the text. Unfortunately, she makes one large misstep, as she matches the text “one minute to cuckoo” with an image of a clock whose hands point to 11:48. Otherwise, the horse and blue jay display quite a bit of enthusiasm for their collection of clocks, reacting appropriately to each of their sounds—annoyed at the alarm clocks, soothed by the baby’s clock, which plays a tune.Clock lovers may appreciate this, but others may simply want back the time they spent reading it. (Picture book. 3-7)