Countdown: Around the Clock by Roz Chast
FROM 6 TO 7 PETE IS UP
DRINKING FROM HIS FAVORITE CUP.
Not only is Pete apparently an early riser. He's also quite a slob. His kitchen is a shambles of burned toast, spilled chocolate syrup, broken eggs, and an overflowing blender.
But not to worry. Somehow by 7:00, Pete's kitchen is tidied by invisible hands, and he's ready to take on some interior decoration.
FROM 7 TO 8, PETE'S MUSE
TELLS HIM TO PAINT HIS ROOM CHARTREUSE.
Other characters, Bea, Lou, Hazel Jane, and Deb, also change activities every hour on the hour throughout the morning, But then it's time for lunch.
FROM 12 TO 1, LYNN EATS BALONEY
WITH HER IMAGINARY FRIEND TONY.
You can see where this one is going, as Roz Chast's new Around the Clock (Atheneum Books, 2015) takes youngsters through the hours of the clock in a humorous lesson in telling time on the conventional clock. Chast, a famous cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine whose style is instantly recognizable, adds some deliciously silly, internally rhyming verse to each hour's activities, full circle, right through the night, bringing the reader back to messy eater Peter, as his dreams are interrupted by his alarm clock, when we might safely predict that he'll arise to clutter the kitchen yet again.
In our times, when some young adults seem to be incapable of reading the hour and minutes from a non-digital clock face, a book which teaches time-telling with imagination, whimsical humor, and clever couplets that can't help provoking chuckles is a welcome addition to any bookshelf. As the New York Times reviewer says, "In Chast's world, the emotions that most picture books aim to help children manage are given gloriously subversive free reign."
Roz Chast is also the author of the zanily offbeat back-to-school story, Marco Goes to School, the co-creator (with comedian Steve Martin) of the wacky alphabet book, The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z! and her memoir for adult readers, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir., a 2014 National Book Award nominee.