Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Picture Book Review: Once Upon a Time There Was and Will Be So Much More by Johanna Schaible (2021)

Quick Booktalk 

 A series of pages decrease in size  as they portray the passage of time from billions of years ago to just one minute ago, to right now, and then increase again as the text wonders what might occur in both the near and distant future. 

About the Illustrations 

The pictures are done with paint and cut paper collages, and each page distills the time period it talks about into a single image.  (Lava erupting from a volcano, a pyramid, etc.) The beginning and ending images mirror each other's landscapes, giving the book a very satisfying sense of everything coming full circle. There is also a strong sense of quiet on each spread, which furthers the thoughtful, almost philosophical mood suggested by the text.

Story Time Possibilities

Because the unique structure of this book includes very tiny pages at its center, it wouldn't be very useful to read to more than a handful of kids at a time. It probably works best shared one-on-one with a child or as an independent read for an early elementary schooler with strong reading skills.

Readers Advisory

This book gives great context for helping kids to understand where we are in time. In terms of the way it breaks down the time periods, it reminds me a lot of Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton, but with a lot less text. I typically do a unit on natural history in our homeschool during each of my kids' kindergarten years, and I can see this being a very useful title for introducing the topic of time in preparation for reading Life Story. It also pairs really well with another recent picture book release, The Day Time Stopped by Flavia Ruotolo, which deals with the passage of time over the course of a single day. 


I received a finished copy of Once Upon a Time There Was and Will Be So Much More from Candlewick Studio in exchange for an honest review.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...