National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “Around the Clock!” by Roz Chast

This fun and imaginative book provides an hourly tour, in rhyme, of what happens during the day of twenty-three very kooky, yet very typical, children.

For example, Chast writes:

“From 6 to 7,
Pete is up,
drinking from
his favorite cup.”

What’s hilarious though is the picture that accompanies this short verse. Chast uses ink-and-watercolor cartoon illustrations throughout the book to augment the text. Pete has pretty much destroyed the kitchen while his apparently still-sleeping parents have no idea what he is doing.

Then there is another scene cringingly familiar to many parents:

“From 3 to 4,
in the grocery store,
Ann throws a tantrum
on the floor.”

Again, the picture is a riot, showing other people scowling or laughing or just happy it is someone else’s child and not theirs.


Kids will laugh out loud at many of the rhymes:

“From 7 to 8
is bath time for Shelley.
If you don’t take a bath,
you will get very smelly.”

The picture contains very funny thought balloons about the smells.

Evaluation: Roz Chast, both author and illustrator, is the beloved staff cartoonist for the “New Yorker,” and also the author/illustrator of a number of books for children. Her children tend not to be well-behaved role models, nor do they learn any lessons in the short time we spend with them in books, but they are as realistic as can be, and will delight and divert readers of all ages. The grown-ups are also very amusing and believable (read: not perfect), rather than the endlessly patient, loving parents we usually see in picture books for kids.

Once again as with Chast’s previous books, some reviewers deplored these aspects of Chast’s books. Some even complained the pictures were “scary.” Really? Did they never read Maurice Sendak?

Rating: 4/5

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2015


About rhapsodyinbooks

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4 Responses to National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “Around the Clock!” by Roz Chast

  1. Deepika Ramesh says:

    Oh, I love everything about this book. Thank you. Adding it to my TBR. 🙂

  2. jama says:

    Love Roz Chast! WIll have to look for this one. 🙂

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    Now, that’s my kind of poetry!

  4. I love it! And of course I love Roz Chast ever since Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant (I really need to get my own copy of that book, now that I think about it), so I’m always on board for more of her work.

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