The recognition value of the text comes from the wry examination of favorite phrases for lengths of time which adults use with small children. ""BEFORE VERY LONG,"" ""RIGHT THIS MINUTE,"" and ""ONCE UPON A TIME."" An afterword about the author-illustrator describes her as a former greeting card designer. This seems quite reasonable after reading the text and seeing its pictures -- the rhyme has a pleasant ounce and an inventive approach to the definitions of time by first telling what they are not. The 3 color illustrations show the slick, sure touch of the cartoon greeting card in the small child figures who make the antic search for specific terms.