French illustrator Estellon explores the idea of time in this concept book for young readers.
From one second to one century, the idea of time and its measurement is discussed in terms that any youngster can understand. It takes a second to create a swirly doodle and an hour to bake a pound cake (recipe included). Giving clear instructions on how to make a paper clock, Estellon encourages readers to use one to learn to tell time. Eventually, the author includes easy-to-solve quizzes (with answers upside down at the bottoms of the pages). Interesting facts—“meridian” of a.m. and p.m. comes from the Latin word for midday or noon, for instance—will keep adults interested as well. She even explains the knuckle-reading trick for telling whether a month has 31 days or is a short month. The text explains that years are 365 days, but no mention is made of leap years. Unfortunately, in most illustrations, the hour hand stays firmly on the hour, even when the minute hand points to an interim moment on the dial. That might be the way the French teach time to children, but in America, children are taught that the hour hand moves with the minute hand, and these illustrations will confuse them.
Pretty to look at but marred by visual errors. (Picture book. 4-8)