Erin is in final paper hell right now, so I (Peter) am taking over #TBT this week
Title: The Eleventh Hour // Graeme Base, published 1988
Memories: I remember The Eleventh Hour being very popular among my kindergarten friends. Some animals were having a party and the food is mysteriously eaten before the set meal time. It was a mystery that didn’t reveal the culprit. It was up to the reader to determine whodunit. My five year old self was stumped and it took the help of a friendly fifth grader to inform me that the culprit was hiding in plain sight. It made the act of reading an act of discovery, and it felt great to know the secret off the book.
Thoughts as an adult: I never appreciated how wonderful the illustrations are in The Eleventh Hour. Every page is incredibly detailed with hidden clues all over and many magnificent misleading images. The mystery is also as difficult as I remember. I am not surprised I was confused as a child. I knew who did it going into the rereading, but I had some trouble finding clues to prove it. I loved rereading this and am very curious to see how a child would handle this puzzle.
Does it hold up? Like most picture books, The Eleventh Hour could have a pretty long lifespan. It’s 28 years old, but outside of a tiger in a headdress, there isn’t really anything in here that would prevent it from being a good children’s book today. The illustrations are still great and I am sure this could still stump some kindergarteners.