As we welcome a new year we thought it would be the perfect time to share a book list about the passing of time. Throughout human existence we have generated ways to record time, and while many of our earlier innovations are no longer used, the old has been blended with the new. Most children are curious about time, yet it can be a tricky subject to comprehend for younger ones. Check out our list for some helpful suggestions.
About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks by Bruce Koscielniak
This fabulous book teaches children about the history of timekeeping. Throughout time, humans have needed to track the passing of time and have discovered many creative ways of doing so. This book is sure to delight children in the elementary grades and beyond.
The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons
Gibbons writes books for children that are beautifully illustrated, clearly written, and tend to mesh very well with the style of Montessori education. The Reasons for Seasons can be appreciated by younger and older children; it contains simple text that explains the science behind our seasons. It differentiates between the Northern and Southern hemispheres and teaches kids about solstices, equinoxes, and why the Earth’s axis plays an important role.
I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Julia Denos
We believe that representation matters, and having children’s books that feature children of color is a good thing for all kids. This is a fun days-of-the-week book in which the main character begins by telling readers about her favorite dress that she wears each Tuesday, which happens to be her favorite day of the week. One day she discovers the dress is too small, but her creative mother transforms the dress into a shirt that the girl then wears every Wednesday. That is, until it no longer fits...
A Second, a Minute, a Week with Days in it: A Book About Time by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Brian Gable
The title of this book says it all: it’s a simple and straightforward explanation about simple units of time. The illustrations help give children a clear visual representation of these abstract concepts.
The Story of Clocks and Calendars by Betsey Maestro, illustrated by Guilio Maestro
Like Koscielniak’s book, The Story of Clocks and Calendars fills the important role of teaching children about the history of time. Maestro details the differences in calendars from different societies, along with descriptions of various types of clocks.
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
“In January it’s so nice while slipping on the sliding ice to sip hot chicken soup with rice. Sipping once sipping twice sipping chicken soup with rice.” This classic Sendak book will help young children learn the names of the months while being delighted by his poems and illustrations.
Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London, illustrated by Thomas Locker
A young Abenaki child is treated to a lesson and storytelling from his grandfather. The grandfather explains that just as there are thirteen scales on the old turtle’s back, there are thirteen moons during the year. This book honors the Native American tradition of storytelling, and each page teaches about a different nation’s moon story. This book would be best appreciated by elementary-aged children.
When the Moon is Full: A Lunar Year by Penny Pollock, illustrated by Mary Azarian
Another book about the Native American lunar year, the illustrations in this book make it come alive. Poetry and tradition guide the reader through twelve moons. While older children would likely enjoy this book, it easily appeals to younger children as well.
A Child’s Calendar by John Updike, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Updike’s poems carry readers through the months of the year, highlighting seasons, holidays, and favorite childhood pastimes. A Child’s Calendar is a Caldecott Honor Book.
Me Counting Time: From Seconds to Centuries by Joan Sweeney, illustrated by Annette Cable
As a child prepares to celebrate her seventh birthday, she pauses to think about time. This story is relatable, informative, and entertaining for kids. Written at about a second-grade reading level, the content would be best enjoyed by children ages 4-7. They will learn all about units of time, from a second to a millennium.
We hope you and your family enjoy these books. Let us know what you think!