A Second Is a Hiccup

A Second Is a Hiccup: A Child’s Book of Time by Hazel Hutchins, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.

This book winningly puts the concept of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and more into a language that children can immediately relate to and understand.  The words of the book dance along poetically and ends with the warmth of a hug.  The illustrations are lovely as well, demonstrating the friendly, loving world that the words create. 

I highly recommend this as a great poetic addition to units for learning to tell time.  Less about the hands of a clock or strict definitions, this is more about how the time feels and what you can do in the space of that amount of time.  It will appeal to children not interested in the numbers of time but in the experience of it.

The Pink Refrigerator

The Pink Refrigerator by Tim Egan. 

Ah how I love books like this that open the imagination and ask kids to soar along with them.

Dodsworth lives a very quiet life.  He did get up early to head to the junkyard to scrounge items for his shop, but then he spent the rest of the day watching TV and napping.  He just loved doing nothing at all.  That is until he found the pink refrigerator at the junk yard with a lovely magnet that he could not force loose.  The magnet held up a note that said “Make Pictures” and inside the refrigerator were all sorts of paper and paints.  Dodsworth was thrilled with how much the items would be worth in his shop, but even though he had a buyer almost immediately he couldn’t bear to part with them.  Instead he made pictures himself.  When he returned to the junkyard, another note is under the magnet telling him to “Read More” and it is filled with books.  Dodsworth finds himself reading his day away rather than watching TV.  The notes continue to open up Dodsworth sheltered world, getting him to play music, cook, and plant a garden.  When Dodsworth returns to the pink refrigerator again, he finds a note that tells him to “Keep Exploring” and the refrigerator is empty, but the magnet falls off.  Now Dodsworth has a choice to make about what he is going to do, return to the shop and watch TV or keep on exploring.

The illustrations and language by Tim Egan are a perfect pairing, both showing how dull Dodsworth’s (don’t you love the name and all that it evokes?) world has become.  It does my librarian’s heart good to see TV turned off and books, art, crafts, and more become the center of someone’s life.  Too many children live as Dodsworths in their own lives.  Perhaps this will inspire them to look beyond their own walls and explore what interests and inspires them!  Let’s hope so!

Share this with kindergarteners and first graders.  It is a very nice story to bring when you are asked to read to elementary grades.  Not only will it keep the children interested, but the message is a good one to share, especially when reading to children.