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TICKETY TOCK by Jason Robert Brown


by Jason Robert Brown and illustrated by Mary GrandPré

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-078752-3
Publisher: Laura Geringer/HarperCollins

Tailor Schmuel learned to make time useful, to work and not stop “until that old clock says so!” Consequently, Schmuel refuses to take time to understand a young girl’s request for a special white-and-blue dress with “a little red heart.” Days lead into months and years. Schmuel, now 41, laments his missed opportunity, but the clock on the wall urges him, “Tockety-tick tock! / I give you all the time you need! / Tickety-tock tick! / Just do it and you’ll be happy!” and turns time back, allowing him to create the dress, reverse his lonely fate and wed his beautifully dressed bride. GrandPré’s double-page spreads feature honey-gold and twilight-blue and -purple hues in combined gouache-and-fabric collage art and artfully depict a boy’s progression from child to man. Brown’s tale unfolds in an irregular poetic format with an uneven rhyme that guides the oral reader along. However enjoyable it sounds aloud, however, its message—of the value of second chances and stopping to live life in the now—seems aimed more at adults than children. (Picture book. 5-8)