FIVE Minutes – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: FIVE Minutes (That’s a lot of time) (No, it’s not) (Yes, it is)

Authors: Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick

Illustrator: Olivier Tallec

 Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2019

Ages: 3-7

Genre: fiction

Themes: time, five minutes, abstract thinking, passage of time, emotional intelligence, patience


Five more minutes, please.”
“Back to bed.

Five Minutes is a lot of time.


Families everywhere will recognize themselves in this clever, hilarious, and completely irresistible picture book. Five minutes is a lot of time… or is it? Well, it depends on what you’re doing, of course! Follow one little boy and his family on a very busy day, as he discovers that sometimes five minutes feels like forever–like when you’re finishing up at the dentist’s office or waiting in line for the bathroom or in the backseat on a long car ride–and sometimes five minutes feels like no time at all–like when you’re playing your favorite game or at the tippy top of a roller coaster or snuggling up with a book before bedtime. 

Why I like this book:

I picked this up initially because I am a huge Tallec fan, and have interviewed him on the blog. Of course, I was not disappointed and his illustrations are spot on, packed with humor, over the top body language and emotions. Too clever and cute. But that would be telling only half the story, as this power team of Vernick and Scanlon have created another winner, with laugh-out-loud pre-school humor, pathos and punch. I was reading it to myself in our high school library and couldn’t hold back the laughter. This will probably take less than five minutes to read, but then you’ll read it over and over again. It will please caregivers and kids alike, as we all know how flexible 5 minutes can be.

Brilliant pacing helps to stretch out five-minutes for ever, and select juxtapositions are super effective, , as in two contrasting scenes at the dentist’s office.


Preschoolers can be guided to explore concepts of patience and the passage of time, and will immediately relate and come up with their own examples of fleeting and interminable “five minutes.” 

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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7 Responses to FIVE Minutes – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Ever since I attended a webinar featuring Scanlon, I’ve been wanting to read all of her books. This one is on that list. Thanks, Joanna!

  2. Patricia Nozell says:

    Can’t wait to take five minutes & read this new picture book. Love the illustrations!

  3. Wendy Wahman says:

    This made me smile. I look forward to reading it.

  4. Look forward to checking this one out for grand kids. What a very clever idea for a book and so perfect for the age group. Fabulous illustrations!

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