About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks
About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks
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Annotation: Describes the concept of time and how it has been measured throughout history, using water clocks, sundials, calendars, and atomic vibrations.
Catalog Number: #5518905
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition Date: 2004
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-544-10512-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-544-10512-6
Dewey: 529.7
LCCN: 2003017469
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The author-illustrator of Johann Gutenberg and the Amazing Printing Press (2003) now presents an introduction to time and the history of timekeeping. The discussion begins with the meanings of terms such as day , month , and year and the development of the calendar in Western civilization. After explaining the use of early devices for marking time, such as sundials, water clocks, and hourglasses, the book traces the advancing technology of mechanical clocks from the thirteenth century onward and briefly explains twentieth-century advances such as quartz and atomic clocks. The ending briefly acknowledges three theories of time, from the ancient Greeks to Einstein. Brightening every page is watercolor artwork: clear diagrams of astronomical relationships, stylized historical scenes, sketchy (occasionally awkward) portrayals of people, and excellent pictures of clock mechanisms, which, in conjunction with the text, enlighten readers as to how the workings actually work. Students beyond the telling time stage will find this an attractive introduction to the broader subject of time.
Horn Book
Koscielniak focuses his impressive history of timekeeping on clock technologies developed over centuries. He starts with the employment of natural events; moves to the design of sundials, water clocks, and mechanical clocks; and ends with today's use of crystals and atoms to keep time in increasingly smaller increments. The loose watercolors have an amateurish quality except when portraying the detailed schematics of various clocks.
Kirkus Reviews
Mechanically minded children willing to follow Koscielniak through this quick history of calendars and clocks will find the time well spent. Though he begins with the sun, seasons, and solar and lunar calendars (not ancient American ones, however), he focuses most closely on how clocks have used shadows and sand, water, weights, springs, electricity, and, finally, atomic vibrations, to measure out increasingly finer gradations. Of what, he declines to discuss, aside from passing references to Ancient Greeks, St. Augustine, Einstein, and unspecified modern ideas. His watercolor depictions of various clockworks are unusually lucid, though, and well-explained, making this an adequate alternative to Anita Ganeri's Story of Time and Clocks (1997) or Trent Duffy's The Clock (2000). (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Describing the concept of time and how it has been measured, Koscielniak gives an instructive yet entertaining march through the ages. A two-page explanation of daytime versus nighttime, as well as the seasons, sets the stage for the beginning of timekeeping and the origins of the Gregorian calendar. The author provides just enough detail for readers to understand how sundials and water clocks work and to comprehend the problems with their accuracy. Attractive watercolor illustrations in green and tan tones enhance the text. Detailed diagrams further explain such concepts as Huygens's balance spring, which later developed into the portable watch. Endpapers show various timepieces through the ages from an Egyptian shadow clock in 1500 B.C. to electric clocks in A.D. 2000. Children will be entertained as well as informed by this presentation.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 2,953
Reading Level: 6.7
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 83519 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 1200L

"[An] impressive history of timekeeping."-- Horn Book Bruce Koscielniak, in this Common Core text exemplar, tells the intriguing story of the many years spent tinkering and inventing to perfect the art of telling time. When time itself was undefined, no one knew the difference between a minute, an hour, and a day. Then people started creating tools to measure time. First they used the sun, the moon, and the water, but soon after people began using their knowledge about the natural world to build clocks and to create calendars made up of months and years. Centuries later, we have clocks and calendars all around us! This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Informational Texts)

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