T is for Time by Marie and Roland Smith

Find book in library catalogWith fall in the air and the school year starting again, kids and reading have been on my mind. We now know so much about how early exposure to books and reading leads directly to success in school and life.  It’s crucial to developing all those pre-literacy cognitive skills. In fact, reading is one of the best things you can do for any kid you care about.

Which is a roundabout way of introducing a new favorite, “T is for Time,” written in picture book format by the husband-wife team, Marie and Roland Smith, who live on a small farm south of Portland. The subject of time has fascinated people since ancient civilizations first studied the skies.

For each letter of the alphabet, there’s an illustration, a short poem introducing a concept relating to time, and a fact-filled sidebar explaining more about the inventors, landmarks, and the history of time keeping in different cultures. These range widely from E is for Einstein, to H is for hourglass, to K is for Kukulcan Pyramid.

This book exemplifies the best in non-fiction writing for children. While targeted for ages six to ten, it appeals on multiple levels. Graef’s illustrations are gorgeous, with full bleed on every page. And the fascinating facts will appeal to all ages. I learned, for example, about the invention of the verge escapement, and that the KLCC listening area is in Uniform time.

Next time I’m lucky enough to be reading to a kid, I’ll be ready! – Connie Bennett, Library Director

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