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All in One Hour

All in One Hour

by Susan Stevens Crummel, Dorothy Donohue (Illustrator)

In a rhythmic pattern similar to "The House That Jack Built," a mouse leads a wild chase through a town as the minutes tick by. From 6 o’clock a.m. to 7 o’clock a.m., various animals, a dogcatcher, a robber, and a policeman join the chase. Just before the hour is up, a slippery encounter with a pile of banana peels sends everyone home. Illustrated with


In a rhythmic pattern similar to "The House That Jack Built," a mouse leads a wild chase through a town as the minutes tick by. From 6 o’clock a.m. to 7 o’clock a.m., various animals, a dogcatcher, a robber, and a policeman join the chase. Just before the hour is up, a slippery encounter with a pile of banana peels sends everyone home. Illustrated with action-packed, cut-paper illustrations, this book is an all-around delight at any hour of the day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A lot can happen in 60 minutes, as this slapstick, occasionally hoary tale reveals. Crummel (And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon) rhymes her way through a spin on The House That Jack Built. The madness begins early: "6:00 a.m. This is the mouse that started it all." The mouse, an affront to the cat who snuggles with a sleeping boy, runs for its life: "6:02 This is the cat. What happens now? She sees the mouse. Meow, meow!" And so it goes, with the pair chasing through the streets, pursued by a dog, a dogcatcher, a bank robber (whose loot falls smack into the dogcatcher's net) and a policeman. Can banana peels be far away? After an explosive climax at a produce stand, the status quo is restored by 7 a.m.-but not, perhaps, for long. Thick layers of brilliantly hued cut paper supply the originality lacking in the text. Donohue's (Veggie Soup) jubilant 3-D images, spanning each oversize spread, are so big, detailed and textured that they command interest. The orange tabby, for example, seems nearly to vibrate with its hundreds of tiny, tone-on-tone orange and yellow slivers of "fur," and the shaggy dog carries itself with an almost tangible weight. Set in multicolored type, the text chases its way around the perimeter of the illustrations, echoing the theme of pursuit. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is amusing to think of this vibrant, artistic picture book in the same breath as Virginia Wolf's Mrs. Dalloway or James Joyce's Ulysses, yet it is similar in concept. Although this adventure—which begins when a small brown mouse wakes a young boy's cat—takes place within the course of an hour, not a day, we the readers are treated to an entire odyssey that involves a bevy of characters and a wild chase scene all within a delightfully short time-frame. The words, which wind around the edges of the pages and seem to pull the reader forward and toward each new mishap, are accompanied by photographs of scenes that the artist has cut and pasted together from hundreds of pieces of colored paper. The animals are layered with fringes of the cutout paper. Each "construction" site appears to be three-dimensional in that the characters are not mounted flush with the colorful backgrounds. They are, instead, raised just enough so that we see shadows and are given a sense of animation. Each photograph spans two pages. This is not only a fun book to read, it is one that makes you wish you could touch the shaggy dog and pet the furry cat. It's hard to resist wanting to be involved in the story yourself. 2003, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 4 to 8.
— Susan Schott Karr
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Vibrant cut-paper collages on large spreads framed in navy illustrate this lively cumulative tale that takes place during one hour. At 6:00 a.m., a small boy and his ginger-striped cat are dozing cozily as "the mouse that started it all" nibbles a chocolate-chip cookie in much-too-close proximity to the feline. What ensues is a chase that involves the cat, a dog, and a dogcatcher, all intersecting with the bank burglar whose swag falls into the net of the catcher who, still chasing the other animals, is now pursued by the thief. Enter the police and a vegetable-store owner laden with a box of bananas, and the end is both inevitable and funny. At 7:00 a.m., the cat returns to the still-sleeping boy, where-in a nearly identical spread to the opening pages-it spies- another mouse. A digital display on the side of each left-hand page alerts readers to the passing of time. The useful sequencing possibilities make this spirited romp informative for read-alouds, and the intricate, colorful art and mazelike quality of the story make it compelling as a solo choice, as well. A terrific addition to most picture-book collections.-Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A mouse leads a series of pursuers in a merry chase that lasts exactly one hour. At precisely 6:00 a.m., an orange cat spies "the mouse that started it all" enjoying cookie crumbs while its master sleeps. It leaps out the window after the mouse, only to be itself followed by a dog, then the dogcatcher, a bank robber, and a police officer-to be finally thwarted when the whole parade runs afoul of a grocer's bananas. Crummel (And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, 2001, etc.) employs the tried-and-true rhythms of "The House that Jack Built"; while the rhythm occasionally falters, it does move the story along. The double-paged spreads are framed in a deep blue; the text (preceded by a digital read-out of the time) snakes its way around this border, occasionally moving aside when a picture element breaks the frame. Donohue (Sweet Hearts, 2002, etc.) provides the concept for this offering, according to the title page, and her cut-paper collages offer a bright and cheery setting for the mayhem. While the layering of the papers creates an immediate three-dimensional effect, the figures are arranged against the background with a flat and childlike sense of perspective, making the illustrations as a whole pleasingly in tune with their audience. This flatness of perspective, however, is out of tune with the readouts of the time: the characters simply don't seem to go very far, despite the generous one-hour allowance. Young children are unlikely to notice this disjuncture, however, and this offering does serve to help them develop a sense of elapsed time; that the story ends at 7:00 with everyone back in place except for a new mouse nibbling the crumbs will give those readers a happy frisson that theromp will begin all over again. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.46(w) x 12.24(h) x 0.28(d)
AD190L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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