A Moment in Time

Jennifer Butenas, illus. by Charlotte Cheng. The Perfect Moment, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-9840039-0-7
At the start of this slight story, ostensibly about taking the time to appreciate the present, two boys and their parents sit in rockers on their front porch. One by one, each enjoys a low-key "moment." Thirsty, the younger boy goes indoors: "He leaped and he hooted./ He marched high and bold,/ Lookin' for a can of/ Soda freezin' cold!" Back in his rocker, he has a "sugary-boogery,/ Thirst-quenchin'/ Moment in time." Next, the older brother shows off his dance moves, having "a shockin' and a rockin',/ Silly-minilie/ Moment in time." For his moment, the boys' father takes a nap, and the mother lastly snaps a photo of her husband and sons. Butenas strains to make her rhymes work, sometimes with nonsensical results; while the father naps, "His brow was smooth/ As he listened to the breeze./ He was sooooo relaxed,/ That he couldn't even sneeze." Cheng's buoyant cartoons are the more successful part of this collaboration, conveying a strong sense of familial closeness and boosting the slim plot with endpaper "photographs" of the family's other memorable moments together. Ages 3–6.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-9840039-1-4
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