Round and round his clocklike tree, Monkey chases minutes in this tale about telling time.
Monkey slumbers away as orange, fruitlike balls happily march up his tree. When the first awakens him, their 60-minute game begins. Twelve branches create the tree-clock’s face, with Monkey in the middle. As the cheerful balls—embodied minutes—run the canopy’s circumference, Monkey’s arm sweeps clockwise, attempting to catch each cheeky sphere. After an hour, the minutes fly away—and 60 new merry minutes begin the game afresh. Colored or painted papers cut out and arranged to make forms create a style reminiscent of Eric Carle’s. But while Carle’s handmade collages mirror the natural, organic lessons of his text, Hall’s digital collage is used to teach precision and time—an apt match of technique and content. As always, Hall uses design to great effect, and the simple style allows readers to focus on the growing narrative of the accumulation of minutes. Playful, number-chart endpages and rhythmic, repetitive lines for reading aloud (“Chase me over. / Chase me down. / Chase me all the way around”) complete the fun.
Both simple and complex and always with humor: a worthy addition to the telling-time shelf. (Picture book. 4-8)