The Book of Time by Clive Gifford

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The Book of Time by Clive Gifford and illustrated by Teo Georgiev (Quarto Publishing, August 2023) is an absolute treasure trove of information about all different aspects of time. To say it covers a wide range of topics would be an understatement — I’m genuinely at a loss for words when it comes to describing the sheer breadth and depth of this book. (And now I’m going to find some words to describe it anyway!)

When I initially picked it up, I expected a historical exploration of clocks, calendars and various methods of time keeping. However, the book of time goes above and beyond those expectation, delving into scientific ways of measuring time, such as zeptoseconds, geological time, and speed of light. It even explores intriguing questions like, “Can Animals Tell the Time?” and how our body measures time, as well as what we do to waste time!

One of the things that impressed me most about Gifford’s work is how seamlessly each two-page section follows into the next. The transitions are so natural that nothing seems like mere trivia. Every topic is intricately linked to the overarching concept of time, even when you’d never think to include it. For example, after reading about the necessity of clocks, I learned in subsequent sections about advances in clock designs, unique creations (such as a clock that knits a sweater over the course of a year), and the invention of alarm clock. These sections begin with a headline and a couple of sentences introducing the subject. The rest of the pages give a wealth of facts, explanations, and trivia alongside friendly illustrations and diagrams.

Thanks to the vibrant and plentiful illustrations throughout, The Book of Time will be classified a nonfiction book suitable for middle grade readers. However, don’t let that deter you — readers of all ages will find themselves engrossed in the subjects. The book also includes a glossary and index, making it a valuable research for both research or browsing.

If you can’t tell, I highly recommend The Book of Time for anyone interested in the subject. Clive Gifford and Teo Georgiev have created a masterful and engaging exploration of time will captivate and educate not just young readers, but readers of all ages.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Reviewed on July 6, 2023

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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