Collaborators Scanlon and Vernick (Dear Substitute, 2018, etc.) team up once again to explore the relativity of time.
Five minutes is just 300 seconds, but it can feel like an eternity when waiting in line or sitting in traffic. Five minutes is never enough time to prepare for something scary and definitely insufficient for roller-coaster rides and bedtime stories. From play time to chore time, children and adults alike will sympathize with the young protagonist as the child vacillates between interminably long and painfully brief five-minute stretches in daily life. The sparse and simple text repeats the “five minutes” refrain ad infinitum but invites readers to delve into Tallec’s energetic and expressive pencil and acrylic illustrations, which communicate the wide-eyed anxiety, frustration, and contentment as the clock ticks along. The child writhes with discomfort in line for the bathroom and jumps up and down with impatience at suppertime, both circumstances children will instantly recognize. Careful pacing helps to stretch out five-minute eternities and provide funny juxtapositions, as in two contrasting scenes at the dentist’s office. The book also opens itself to exploration of concepts of emotional intelligence, patience, and the passage of time. The child appears biracial, with a white-presenting dad and brown-skinned mom.
An accessible story that entices readers to slow down and enjoy a moment (maybe five?) in its company. (Picture book. 3-5)