Fix That Clock by Kurt Cyrus (9781328904089)
Full of rhythm and rhyme, this picture book takes a broken down clock and rebuilds it. The clock is teetering and old, with the structure and the clock no longer functional. The only things that live in it are the wild animals who have moved in. So three builders arrive to change all of that. Floor-by-floor, they transform the zigzag of crooked walls into straight new boards and squares. The clock too gets reworked and soon the tower is straight and working once again. But what will happen to the little creatures who lived there?
This book was made to share aloud. It has such a jolly rhythm to it, with hammers banging, boots tramping, and the clock bonging. Still, Cyrus takes the time to tell a full story here, giving quieter moments where the reader gets to more fully understand the structure itself and the creatures who live there. It’s that contrast that really makes the book work as a read aloud, giving it a heart beyond the rhythm and rhyme.
Cyrus’ art is great, the old wood grayed and weathered by time contrasts with the fresh gold of the new wood. One can almost smell the sawdust as you turn the pages. The three builders are diverse as far as race and gender, which is very welcome to see. The use of interesting perspectives adds to the appeal visually.
A great choice for reading aloud for any units on construction or clocks. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.
Old Rock (Is Not Boring) by Deb Pilutti (9780525518181)
Old Rock has sat in the same spot on the edge of a clearing in a pine forest for a very long time. Tall Pine, who stands next to Old Rock, thinks that being a rock must be very boring. Spotted Beetle and Hummingbird agree. Hummingbird talks about flying to different parts of the world. Old Rock then mentions that he flew once when he was erupted from a volcano. Spotted Beetle talks about what he can see from different vantage points. Old Rock then tells about watching dinosaurs walk past and riding a glacier. He even had a vantage point when the glacier left him high on the top of a ridge. Old Rock may never have danced, but he talks about somersaulting down from the ridge and meeting mastodons. And that’s when a very small pine tree started to grow next to him, and he met a beetle and a hummingbird too.
Pilutti pushes back against assumptions that could be made about rocks or others that are content right where they are. As the tree, bird and beetle brag about their own experiences, Old Rock can match them and share his own tales that are far more interesting. Old Rock’s clear contentment and stillness add a wonderful grounding to the book, even as he sometimes teeters on a ridge.
The illustrations are marvelous, filled with the emotions that go across the face of Old Rock. They contrast modern day with the past nicely using different color palettes for different times. Old Rock though stays solid and gray throughout.
A clever book that includes evolution, dinosaurs and a little rock and roll. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.