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Learning about time: One minute


So today my daughter wanted to bring a book to school.
(No it's not public holiday over here today, for a reason I don't fully understand :)

At her Montessori Children's house there is a book corner with some non-fiction books, and a small selection of fiction books available for independent reading (they don't push fiction too much at this stage). As opposed to many other countries in Europe, including Italy, children here in the UK learn to read and write at pre-school, so before they turn 6. This also happens in any Montessori school around the world. Which is why they mainly have books that can be approached independently by early readers.

The children are then free to bring to school a book that they liked, to share it in a group with their friends and teachers who will read it at some point during the day. Children are free to join the group or to do something else.

But there is not a routinely established time for reading in a traditional classroom-taught setting.




This one is the first book by Korean author and Illustrator Somin Ahn, published in 2016.
It’s a lovely small book, that perfectly fits the hands of a 3 year old, with bright minimal illustrations.

A little girl tells us all everything one can do in one minute, how one minute can feel like.
It’s a very down-to earth short story, sweet but not overly protective, which allows some space for some shadows too.
The 'darker' pages were actually the ones that she liked the most, which generated the interruptions.

'Wait, why is she crying?'
'Why is she sad?'
'But why?'
[a but why-but why-series follows]

It’s no surprise that my daughter and her friends at school, all aged 2.5-6, were so fascinated by it.
Children start learning about time at around this age and this books feels so unusual and inspiring. One of those which creates a thoughtful silence.

We have many books on seasons and nature's life cycles as a support to this process, but this felt new.

1 minute, 1 tiny minute, how long is it, how important can it be?

I often follow her lead when it comes to reviewing and recommending books, I find her enlightening and honest. Plus it helps me to disconnect  from the market and its ‘new-release’ obsession.

We have so many beautiful books from the past (also recent past, like this one) which are worth knowing and reading multiple times, and we sometimes forget how much young children need repetition, instead of being offered new books all the time.
It might be boring for us, but it's very exciting for them:)


One Minute [2016]
by Samin Ahn
Published in English by Chronicle Books
Published in Italian by Corraini [Un minuto]
Reading age: 3+
Themes: Learning about time, Self-development






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