It’s a little ironic that the two- or three-handed clock or wristwatch has become somewhat anachronistic now that time is readily provided on digital watches, laptops and mobile phones, to name a few common “screens”. But as convenient as it has become to simply read off the time digitally, I still believe that knowing how to tell time with a real clock is important.
We loved Sara Pinto’s counting book The Number Garden (which I reviewed some time ago), so it’s no surprise that this book also carries many of her signature quirky touches — but with a practical spin.
The time-telling tale, as it were, centres on Thomas, a little boy who is confused by the way his busy family is always talking about time while rushing about and hurrying him along (ahem, sounds familiar…). But thanks to a chance encounter with a friendly clockmaker, who gifts him with a special clock, Thomas not only learns how to tell time, but how to manage his own.
There are many children’s books on time-telling, but none do the job as logically as this one, which explains every step patiently and in detail. Kids will also identify with Thomas as they follow along on his journey to master time. The author’s gouache paintings are delightfully charming and full of whimsical details — and, of course, imaginative clocks. In fact, one of the stand-out features of this book is how every page incorporates one or more prominent clock faces, to encourage kids to try to read the time alongside Thomas, so that they too will be “clockwise” in no time at all.