Between Tick and Tock

‘Between Tick and Tock’ is the new book from Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay. They first collaborated on‘The Night Box’, which was one of my favourite picture books in this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Illustrated Books Shortlist (what a mouthful!), so when I saw they had another book due out and – even better! – when I got my hands on a copy to review, I was thrilled! (Thanks Egmont!)


High above the bustle of the city are eyes that watch and hands that know – it’s time to pause the clock.

When Liesel spots the city wearing a frown, she decides it’s time to stop the clock and lend a helping hand.

While the city sleeps, she carries out little acts of kindness to breathe colour, life and happiness back into the city.

This is one of those picture books that really is for everyone. The cadence and phrasing of the text (there are some absolutely beautiful turns of phrase in here) combined with the expression and detail in the images surrounding it give the book the feel of an illustrated poem rather than the traditional story-style found in most picture books giving it wide-ranging appeal.

Introducing its setting and themes – a busy day in the grey, rushing, crowded-but-isolated city – beautifully with the ‘characters’ Lost, Lonely and Stuck in the first couple of pages, this is a book that will resonate with many an adult who’s lived/worked in the city (even those of us, like me, who love it!) The situations we meet them in will be equally recognisable for younger readers – playing alone, a lost teddy, an argument from people who don’t want to share.

The illustrations alone offer SO much to pore over, talk about and consider – from a whole host of different people (and their body language and facial expressions) to familiar settings and situations (and the comparisons and “what if’s” that can be drawn from them), and that’s not to mention Liesel’s ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ (for want of a better description) and the fantastic vocabulary in the text. While it’s an ideal book to share one-to-one, I also think this has so much potential for use in school settings, right across the Key Stages.

A breath of fresh air through a grey city day – this is a gentle meander through the city as time stands still and a reminder to pause and really notice what’s around us now and then in the midst of hectic lives.


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