cover image Five Minutes (That’s a Lot of Time) (No, It’s Not) (Yes, It Is)

Five Minutes (That’s a Lot of Time) (No, It’s Not) (Yes, It Is)

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illus. by Olivier Tallec. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-51631-6

“Time is relative” serves as this volume’s premise and punch line as readers follow a little boy with round eyes through his day, and five-minute time frames—usually imposed on him by the adult world—shrink and stretch depending on the circumstances. The time frame is long when the boy’s mother needs to handle some boring bank business—“Five minutes is forever,” write Scanlon and Vernick (Dear Substitute)—but it’s way too short when there are puppies to see in the pet shop window (“Only five minutes?”) or there’s a chance of winning a carnival fishing game (“Seriously. Hang on”). The crisply paced and smartly varied vignettes build to a sweet closing moment, when the father extends a snuggle and bedtime story by an extra five minutes. Tallec (What If...), working in smudgy hues of blue and green acrylic paint punctuated with orange and red, puts his protagonist through a wide range of comically dramatic poses. Funny and astute, the volume represents five minutes well spent. Ages 3–7. [em]Authors’ agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (Sept.) [/em]