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THE TIME BOOK by Martin Jenkins


A Brief History from Lunar Calendars to Atomic Clocks

by Martin Jenkins & illustrated by Richard Holland

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4112-2
Publisher: Candlewick

Taking an amiable ramble through the story of how we have created measures for time, Jenkins steps out with random notes on animal migration and other signs of biological clocks, saunters past the invention of weeks, months, hours, minutes and mechanical clocks and fetches up at last with a brush past relativistic effects. Holland joins in on the stroll with decorative, if not particularly informative, collages constructed from Victorian clip art, digitally processed photo fragments and jumbles of numbers. “Casual” is the watchword, as the author goes from leaving the impression that Saturn was an Assyrian god to noting that John Harrison’s nautical clock was invaluable for navigation but never explaining just how. The random assortment of facts may spark a mild interest in the topic, but it all reads like a middlebrow magazine article and is certainly no substitute for the more conscientious likes of Bruce Koscielniak’s About Time (2004) or Joan Dash’s Longitude Prize (2000). (Nonfiction. 10-12)