THE TIME IT TOOK TOM by Nick Sharratt


Age Range: 3 - 7
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Both the devilry of Tom and the clever inclusion of the consequences of his act invest this story with real charm and make the attending lesson in time most palatable. Tom, who has a head shaped like a paintbrush, discovers a can of red paint under the kitchen sink. It takes him three seconds to figure out what to do with it and three minutes to get the lid off. He paints the entire living room red. His mother goes ballistic; then it takes three weeks to clean up the mess, and each step of the process is delineated. They rent a dumpster for the destroyed furniture, strip the wallpaper, sand the woodwork, pick the paint, reject the paint they picked, and on and on in increasingly smaller typeface that makes readers feel as if they are spinning into the void. Once the mess is cleaned up, a year goes by, then two, then three, and an older Tom finds a can of blue paint under the kitchen sink. It’s a witty lesson, especially with the infusion of the cautionary element and the sense of time it imparts. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-888444-63-0
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999