Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Summary: As construction workers head to an old clock tower to restore it to its former glory, they discover that rats and bats have made their homes among the rusted gears and rotting boards. They get to work, doing their best to work around the animals. Math makes several appearances in the story: “Seven steps upon a stair,/Six are tangled, one is bare./Five are red. Two are green./Four are thick and three are lean.” The clock slowly comes back to life, and the animals scramble when the chimes sound. But the thoughtful workers haven’t forgotten about them: they use scraps of wood to build homes for them on the outside of the clock tower. 40 pages; ages 3-8.
Pros: Just as he did in Billions of Bricks, Kurt Cyrus uses energetic rhymes and detailed illustrations to bring a construction project to life. Numbers, shapes, and other mathematical concepts are woven effortlessly into the text.
Cons: I can’t help thinking those animals might not enjoy living right up against a chiming clock.