Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby

Moving... fast or slow, noticed or unnoticed, cherished or overlooked.
That is the theme of this lovely book.

Many times when I am trying to get through a stack of books, especially picture books that can be read quickly, I note possible educational value, artistic prowess, plot or character development, blah, blah, blah.... education stuff (my thing). But every once in awhile a picture book will force me to stop and take notice. It will slow time.

Forever or a Day is a beautiful look at how time can be both fast (when we are younger or in a hurry) or slow (when we want to get somewhere or when we are older). It's told in a simple manner, light on words, heavy on meaning. My favorite kind of writing.

For teaching purposes, it is quite complex. This is a book best read to a small group or individual child. I would find reading this book to an entire class a bit difficult. Developmentally some students would need more discussion and time and some students would want more discussion and time.
It could be used as part of a unit on family, but I rather think I'd like to use it for teaching character perspective. Although the narrator is omniscient, according to how they perceive time, various characters are perceiving it differently. This is especially interesting because time is referred to as "it." I would want to discuss the concept of time as a character.
(CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text)

That being said, it would also make an excellent picture book starter for older students when teaching not only character perspective and/or plot cadence.
(CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.B Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations /   CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.A Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally)

I'm sure there's additionally something in there for the math teacher who wants to move past just teaching students how to tell time, but to comprehend the concept of time.

Genre: Realistic Fiction (with a poetic narrative)
Age: The publisher lists this book as for 2-5 year old children. I'd argue with that.... closer to 3-6, not many 2 year olds will get this and some 8 & 9 year olds could really benefit from thinking about the concept of time in both their reading and writing skill.
Pages: 40

Themes: The passage of time, the importance of moments, family

Character Development: Interesting to examine how each of the characters view time (parents, child, grands, rushing workers, etc...), especially the "character" of it.

Plot Engagement: Time is the plot and a character, what a treat for a writing teacher!

Originality: Unique in both concept and beauty

Awards: I'm sure they are coming. I don't put that *Highest Recommendation tag on many, folks.
I am always at a loss to discuss beautiful artwork (other than to know enough to say that it is comparatively a stand-out amongst artists). I guess my one undergrad class in art history wasn't enough. I'm betting that the Caldecott folks know this one is a stand-out in lingo I lack.

Thank You to Chronicle Books & publicist Lara Starr who continue to send me lovely things to share with children and teachers!
Release Date: March 2018
ISBN: 978-1452164632
Buy Forever or a Day HERE

You can download some pretty posters and get a perpetual calendar at the publisher's site HERE

You can read more about the author/illustrator, Sarah Jacoby, HERE

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