Children’s Literature – Jodell Sadler
This is a title that looks like it’s all about telling time, but it’s actually about anticipating time. And really celebrates clocks, clock sounds, such as various cuckoos and tick-tock sounds, and movements to the rhythm of the day. It also brings up the various lullabies, serenades, and unique sounds that can come booming out every sixty minutes. This story is told through the interactions of two unspoken characters, a blue bird and a horse that step in time together, hang from pendulums, who remind each other to listen, sleep to lullabies, and wake up in time to start their day. This book is a nice reminder of all the sounds of many kinds of clocks: cuckoo, alarm, grandfather, hall, kitchen, and anniversary clocks, that kids might find in their lives and the roles they play. Kids who enjoy this title may also enjoy 10 Minutes to Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann, which shares a fabulous unspoken story in the illustrations. Reviewer: Jodell Sadler


“How wonderful that Debbie Bernstein LaCroix has chosen to elaborate on this exciting, often overlooked experience. Sarah Chalek’s vibrant artwork nearly lifts off the pages and you practically hear the ticking, alarms and chimes.” – Picture Book Reviews


The best children’s books aren’t just for kids. It’s Almost Time – written by Debbie Bernstein LaCroix and illustrated by Astoria’s own Sarah Chalek – is a prime example of this sentiment, with its worldly knowledge translated into unassuming, rhythmic language and dynamic illustrations.

Boro Magazine


A fun and adorable read aloud!

This book makes a wonderful read aloud for young children. With cute, whimsical illustrations, as well as all sorts of variation in “noises” the clocks make, my children were excited for each new page. I loved all of the different types of clocks highlighted throughout the book. This is a terrific picture book to add to your collection!

Posted September 9, 2011 by sfzoom


Hi Debbie,

I just wanted to send you an e-mail to say how well received your book has been with my libraries. It is one of my show stoppers with them. So thank you for all the work you put into this. Every librarian I have met with has ordered it. They said that this was a great book for parents to read to the children. The pages have so much to discuss and can help children learn to talk about what they are seeing.

Congratulations on a great book.
From Hope, Usborne Books and More Consultant


I read your book to the kids last night before bed- I just got it- and they loved it!!
My son walked around making clock noises he had heard from the book! Thanks!


“…A gently anthropomorphized horse and blue jay eagerly await the stroke of 12, killing time by listening to the various sounds of the clocks that surround them: “Thump, thump, thump, thump, / a giant clock ticks. / Tickety-tockety, / Tickety-tockety, / a smaller clock clicks.” Once the clocks read noon, LaCroix drops the rhyming verses to describe in detail the sound of each clock’s chiming, using excellent verb and adverb choices to “play” the sound for readers: “Bum, bum, bum, bummmm, serenades the anniversary clock sweetly.” Chalek’s paintings provide vital clues to readers, who may not be familiar with the wide variety of clocks presented in the text….”
Kirkus Reviews



LaCroix’s book is full of sound words that would set up a fun oral reading of the texts about clocks ringing in the hours. It would be good for working with words lessons especially its focus on onamontapeia.


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