Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Time Is It?

What Time Is It?
By John Peter, Pictures by Joseph Zabinski
Wonder Books, 1954

Wonder Books was a division of Grosset and Dunlap and marketed books that looked a lot like Little Golden Books. This one in particular is a "Romper Room Book" which actually has a title page statement "Read and approved for Romper Room by Nancy Claster."

This book follows Billy through his day showing what time various parts of his daily routine happen. We see him help his mother, go shopping, take a nap, eat dinner with the family and as noted in the picture above, his bathtime is 5:00 pm.

I find the language on the pages nearly as charming as the pictures. And these pictures have a sort of "Mary Blair" flair to them even though the artwork is someone else's. Here is an excerpt from the "Note to Parents" on the copyright page.

Every child at an early age begins to ponder over the mystery of a clock. His young life is largely regulated by the clock. Mother and father look at athe clock and say it is time fo rhim to do this or time to do that. And before long the child notices that his parents' lives seem to be governed by the clock too. A clock thus appears to have a remarkable power of its own.

Even more remarkable to a child is a grown-up's ability to read at a glance the strange symbols on the clock face. Soon the big day comes when he, too, wants to know how to tell time. . .

I so love the idea of knitting by the fire.
This may be a bit sterotypical 50s,
but I also think it looks rather nice and cozy.

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