All in a Day by Chihiro Takeuchi

All in a Day by Chihiro Takeuchi. Berbay Books, c2022, 2023. 9781922610546

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book?  By combining a look-and-find format with a book about telling time, Chihiro has created a very cute and engrossing read. Each double page spread features a friendly looking mansard-roofed apartment building, crowned with a large clock face. We can see into all the apartments on the left side page as we face the building, starting the day at 7:00 am. Some occupants are awake in their brightly-lit living quarters, while others (a musician and an artist in the upstairs garrets) are still shown in black-and-white. On the right side, the narrator describes what some families are doing (baking bread, eating breakfast, feeding the cat) and challenges us to find a few things: a boy on a bike, a gray dog, and a pink chameleon. As the day progresses, the hands on the large clock advance and new activities in the building reflect the changing time of day. Takeuchi uses elaborate and precise cut paper to make detailed collages, with miniscule details:  the clockmaker’s tools, the musician’s audio components, even the bricks on the sidewalk. The people in the building are diverse and have ingeniously detailed facial expressions and clothing. The objects in the look-and-find prompts were fun to find and should be appropriately challenging for the learning-to-tell-time age group.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? If caregivers are looking for support teaching analog time-telling, this would be an entertaining read. It’s more attractive than many look-and-find books and has the advantage of pedagogical utility as well. The intricate illustrations will work well one-to-one but not as a read aloud to a large group.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school or public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: February 5, 2023

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