Almost Time (Hardcover)

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(Children Picture Books)

Staff Reviews

This darling father and son story examines a child's excitement for things that occur on nature's timeline, namely loose teeth and maple syrup. Ethan (and the reader) grow antsy with anticipation, but both learn to read the passing of time in the change of seasons.

— Chelsea


A tender father-and-son story about the passage of time, the change of seasons, and the excitement of reaching a goal.

Eager for maple syrup, Ethan can’t wait till sugaring time rolls around. And he can’t wait till his loose tooth falls out. But his father keeps telling him it’s not time yet, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make time pass more quickly. The closeness of father and son is evident throughout as they wait and then celebrate the end of waiting. The brief, lyrical text is illuminated by G. Brian Karas’s beautifully composed, evocative illustrations.

About the Author

Gary D. Schmidt is the best-selling author of Pay Attention, Carter Jones; Orbiting Jupiter; the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; the Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars; and Okay for Now. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

G. Brian Karas is the award-winning author and illustrator of many acclaimed picture books. He lives in upstate New York. Visit him online at and on Twitter @gBrianKaras.

Elizabeth Stickney is the pseudonym of Anne Stickney Schmidt, the late wife of author Gary D. Schmidt and the author of poems, essays, and picture books.

Praise For…

★ "Set in maple sugaring country, this tale by Schmidt (Pay Attention, Carter Jones) and Stickney (the pen name of Schmidt’s late wife) examines the difficulty of waiting for exciting things when they unfold at the natural world’s pace."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"A gentle tale that is as sweet and delicious as maple syrup."—Kirkus

Karas’ distinctive mixed-media illustrations with muted hues and delicate lines expressively show the tenderness between father and child, emphasizing the perceived slowness of time passing and the difficulty of waiting." —Booklist

In addition to promoting the value of patience, Schmidt’s story will also be valuable for early study of changing seasons and teaching where food comes from." —School Library Journal

Waiting for spring can wear on one's patience,  but readers may find comfort sharing the burden with Ethan...until the warm and satisfying conclusion."—Horn Book

There’s a gentle, spare folksiness to the storytelling... [kids will] relate to the eternity that is waiting for something wonderful and the joy of a good weekend breakfast."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544785816
ISBN-10: 0544785819
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: January 14th, 2020
Pages: 32