Time Is Flies: Poems for Children


46 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88823-091-5






Illustrations by Darcia Labrosse
Reviewed by Cecile Ghosh

Cecile Ghosh was a librarian living in Rigaud, Quebec.


Swede’s tiny book for young children is filled with riddles in poetic form. They remind one of Darcia Labrosse’s Ou est le chat? (Montreal: Pierre Tisseyre, 1981). The pages have a seek-and-find quality about them. Children are invited to play at every turn of the page. Sometimes the poem is a black word on a white expanse of page, the illustrations to be filled in by the child’s imagination. On one page, only the word skiing appears, typed in the form of a ski slope. On another, a bunch of words are jumbled in the form of an ascending hill and must be deciphered. Some of the poetry is illustrated with Darcia Labrosse’s lovely and whimsical drawings. One poem reads: “The bald barber cuts my hair too short,” and describes a barber running a mini-lawnmower over a young child’s head. Although this book is aimed at the six- to ten-year-olds, some of the poems would perplex them. One thinks of the technical language in “Stimulus-Response”: “nerve ends in the skin are aroused resulting in the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain / A mosquito puts a needle into my neck / Once in the brain these impulses trigger highly complex reactions involving several cortical centers. / Slap.”

Swede’s book is fun to read.


Swede, George, “Time Is Flies: Poems for Children,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 23, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37575.