What makes time seem to fly by in some instances, but crawl in others? Somin Ahn translates a seemingly complex concept into a relatable and fascinating subject for tiny tots just beginning their journeys through the weeks, months, and years of their lives. Set in the picturesque English seaside town of Brighton, this charmingly illustrated picture book describes the myriad things that can happen in just One Minute (Chronicle, $15.99) through the eyes of a little girl. Sixty seconds spent with best friends, for example, seem like no time at all; in the dentist’s chair, on the other hand, they can stretch on forever. This ingeniously conceived book is a perfect way to start a conversation with children about what makes a minute seem long or short to them. Ages 4-6.
Everyone on Blossom Street has a cat... or so they think. Mr. Green cooks with Archie, Madame Betty snuggles with Snufflekins, Miss Fernandez paints with Valentine—but in reality, they’re all the companions of the very same animal. This astute feline keeps busy by visiting almost everyone on the street! When he calls on lonely Mrs. Murray at number eleven for the first time, however, everything changes. Days later, the rest of the neighborhood goes looking for Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat (Flying Eye, $16.95); when they finally locate him at number eleven, they realize that their beloved pet has at last found his true home. Katie Harnett’s charming story celebrates the simultaneous cunning and caring of one very special cat, and his ability to bring together a whole community of humans. Ages 4-7.
Any children’s literature aficionado would treasure three new books that commemorate titans of the genre: A Celebration of Beatrix Potter (Warne, $25) contains excerpts from nine of Potter’s most beloved tales, which serve as inspiration for testimonials and creative new illustrations from luminaries such as David Wiesner and Rosemary Wells.