Between Tick and Tock

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What would you do if you could stop time? If there was a space between tick and tock, how would you fill it? Everyone always seems to be in such a hurry that there’s never any time to see the little moments. The grey city streets are certainly too busy to notice. But if the hands of time could be stopped and everything shuddered to a halt, the whole world might come to a standstill. What a wonderful thing that would be.

Liesel does have the ability to pause the clock and stop time. She watches the busy world rush by and knows when it’s time to briefly stop the clock. Where there once was frenzy, everything is now frozen in time. She uses the paused moments to make the dull grey city glow with pretty colours. And whilst the clock appears to be holding its breath, Liesel skips through the stillness, making magic happen. Quarrels are mended, baby birds are lifted to safety and library books are returned on time!

It isn’t long before the clock calls Liesal back; the city and its inhabitants cannot remain permanently frozen in time. The ticks and tocks soon return and everything is as it once was. The city splutters back to life, and thanks to Liesal’s kindness, it is all the better for her watchful care.

‘Between Tick and Tock’ is a lyrical tale of what it would be like to stop the clock and fill the moments of time with little acts of kindness. This is a book full of subtle inference and wonderful opportunities for discussion. It is the second picture book by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay, the first being ‘The Night Box’. Greig’s experience as a poet is evident in this book by her clever use of language and Lindsay’s colourful, simple illustrations really bring the story to life. 

In the classroom, this book could be used to start a series of ‘what if you could stop time’ short stories. Scenarios from the text could be used to inspire free writing e.g. ‘Two ladies in hats stand like statues…’ or ‘The silent city wears a frown…’. Writers could use their senses to write about the city when it stops: what can they see, hear, smell, taste and feel. They could also write from memory about something they have experienced, imagining what it would be like to stop the clock- a birthday party, a ride on a train or a trip to the supermarket.

Between Tick and Tock  by Louise Greig, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay

Egmont ISBN: 978-1405286596