Time Flies

Overview

Eric Rohmann's Caldecott Honor-winning debut is now available as a Dragonfly paperback. It is at once a wordless time-travel adventure and a meditation on the scientific theory that dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestors of birds.

Time Flies , a wordless picture book, is inspired by the theory that birds are the modern relatives of dinosaurs. This story conveys the tale of a bird trapped in a dinosaur exhibit at a natural history museum. ...
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Overview

Eric Rohmann's Caldecott Honor-winning debut is now available as a Dragonfly paperback. It is at once a wordless time-travel adventure and a meditation on the scientific theory that dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestors of birds.

Time Flies , a wordless picture book, is inspired by the theory that birds are the modern relatives of dinosaurs. This story conveys the tale of a bird trapped in a dinosaur exhibit at a natural history museum. Through Eric's use of color, readers can actually see the bird enter into a mouth of a dinosaur, and then escape unscathed.

The New York Times Book Review called Time Flies "a work of informed imagination and masterly storytelling unobtrusively underpinned by good science...an entirely absorbing narrative made all the more rich by its wordlessness." Kirkus Reviews hailed it as "a splendid debut."

A wordless tale in which a bird flying around the dinosaur exhibit in a museum has an unsettling experience when it finds itself back in the time of living dinosaurs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yes, no--it's a metaphor! Rohmann's wordless first book shows a bird flying into a dinosaur museum one dark and stormy night. The bird flits about, perching on a dinosaur jaw and soaring on. As it flies past one particular behemoth, the bones of the creature are suddenly cloaked in flesh; the bird has entered a prehistoric landscape. A dinosaur eventually swallows the bird, but as it wings its way down the creature's throat and through its digestive system, the would-be predator is transformed to a skeleton and the bird returns once again to the museum hall. The meaning of this exercise is unclear, although a jacket note explains that Rohmann was ``inspired by the theory that birds are the modern relatives of the dinosaurs.'' The target audience will likely be mystified. Slightly older readers, however, might be intrigued by the time-travel conceit and the scientifically minded will be wowed by Rohmann's oil paintings, which capture the textures of bone, tooth, eyeball, etc., with as much attentiveness and morbidity as, say, an 18th-century still life of gamebirds. Ages 4-9. Mar.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A bird enters the museum and flies into the dinosaur display area. It enters the skeleton and travels back in time to see the dinosaurs in their habitat. This wordless book's dramatic oil paintings conveys the message that dinosaurs may be the ancestors of birds. Winner of a Caldecott Honor.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-In this wordless journey back in time, a bird flies into a museum filled with dinosaur skeletons. The walls dissolve and the skeletons take on flesh, coming to life. In a dramatic picture, the bird is eaten by what appears to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. But the dinosaur's flesh fades away, as gradually and mysteriously as it had first appeared, and the bird flies free, easily escaping from what is again nothing but bones. The columns of the museum's grand hall reappear, and the bird flies off into the sky, watched by a pterodactyl gargoyle. This impressive effort is rather like David Wiesner's Tuesday Clarion, 1991, sharing its elements of technical expertise and surreal fantasy. Rohmann's oil paintings all double-page spreads show the inside of the museum in warm, burnished browns and reds, while the colors are cooler and more varied in the outdoor light of the prehistoric scenes. Unusual perspectives and striking compositions and images make for a dynamic and intriguing book. The picture of the bird balanced on the teeth of the skeleton is a remarkable juxtaposition of delicacy and strength. This title has potential for classroom use- when studying paleontology or evolution, preparing for a field trip, or doing creative writing projects. All in all, a title that children will love.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Carolyn Phelan
In this wordless picture book, Rohmann sets the scene in a natural-history museum, where the dinosaur hall suddenly time-shifts into the Age of Reptiles (or "were" the dinosaurs the ancestors of today's birds?). During a thunderstorm, a bird flies among the dinosaur skeletons in the majestic hall. The scene subtly changes, as the walls become a landscape, the stone columns turn into trees, and the bones flesh out into living creatures. Swallowed by one of the dinosaurs, the bird flies down its throat, only to find the flesh thinning out to the bone framework again and the museum reappearing. The bird flies free again, out of the beast and out of the building. It's a short trip, but kids fascinated by dinosaurs may enjoy this vicarious voyage back in time. The handsome, atmospheric paintings heighten the drama as they tell their simple, somewhat mysterious, and quite short story.
From the Publisher
“Unusual perspectives and striking compositions and images make for a dynamic and intriguing book. This title has potential for classroom use—when studying paleontology or evolution, preparing for a field trip, or doing creative writing projects. All in all, a title that children will love.”—School Library Journal

“Awesome is the only word for this wordless picture book.”—Atlantic Monthly

“In beautifully composed spreads, the museum’s glowering sandstone hues are imaginatively played off against the early world’s innocent sky blue and vegetable green, the tiny, lithe bird against the lumbering primeval giants, flesh against bone, shadow against substance. A splendid debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517595985
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 796,928
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.24 (w) x 11.15 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Rohmann
Eric Rohmann's first book for children, Time Flies, was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1995,
and was called a splendid debut by Kirkus Reviews.

Eric holds degrees in fine arts from Arizona State University and Illinois State University.  He is a former teacher, and has exhibited his artwork as numerous galleries and museums across the country.

Eric is a painter, printmaker, and a fine bookmaker, and he lives outside of Chicago.  

Biography

The 2003 Caldecott Medal for illustration was awarded to Eric Rohmann for My Friend Rabbit, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of The Millbrook Press. In the book, Mouse shares his brand-new toy airplane with his friend Rabbit, and no one can predict the disastrous-but hilarious-results. When the airplane lands in a tree, the chaos only builds as Rabbit drags, pushes and carries the whole neighborhood, including Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile, to the rescue. It's a lighthearted celebration of a friendship that will last - even if whatever Rabbit does and wherever he goes, trouble follows.

"Eric Rohmann's hand-colored relief prints express a vibrant energy through solid black outlines, lightly textured backgrounds and a robust use of color," said Pat Scales, chair of the 2003 Caldecott Award Committee. "The black frame cannot contain Rabbit's enthusiasm in this dramatic visual romp, as the characters tumble and spill from the page and back on again. The artist shows his respect for his audience and keen understanding of picture book design. Whatever they do and wherever they go, children will claim Rabbit as their friend."

Rohmann is the author and illustrator of two previous children's books, The Cinder-Eyed Cats and Time Flies, which was a 1995 Caldecott Honor Book. He also has illustrated The Prairie Train by Antoine Ó'Flatharta. A painter, printmaker and fine bookmaker, Rohmann holds fine arts degrees from Arizona State University and Illinois State University. He lives in the Chicago area. My Friend Rabbit is his first book for Roaring Brook Press.

Courtesy of the American Library Association.

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    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Fine Arts degrees from Arizona State University and Illinois State University

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