Desi journeys through a fantasy land with her dog, Lola, and her cat, Jack, to visit twelve legendary monsters known as the Tocks.
The Tocks’s efforts to teach about clocks through rhyme proves tricky at moments, as there’s little beyond the rhyming names to reinforce connections between each Tock and their number or the time of day or night that number represents: the Drix feeds her chicks, but there are three of them, rather than six. The illustrations likewise feature no elements linking each Tock to its number, drawing no clear link between each nonsense word a clock number.
There’s one exception. A masterful detail, especially for a book about time, is the addition of a character that represents midnight. Desi and her companions must return to where the Phloon was to meet the Zight, which is a clever way to differentiate and make clear the difference between noon and midnight. Ultimately a simple and playful, yet thoughtfully crafted and beautifully illustrated, primer on clocks and time, The Tocks on the Clock is sure to delight and occasionally gently spook younger readers, even if they are only enjoying this story as a story, without their eyes on the clock just yet.
Takeaway: A beautiful, slightly spooky journey through the numbers of a clock—and the monsters who reside at each.
Great for fans of: Tom Fletcher’s The Creakers, D. M. Cornish’s Monster: Blood Tattoo.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A