Five Minutes (Hardcover)

(That's a Lot of Time) (No, It's Not) (Yes, It Is)

By Audrey Vernick, Liz Garton Scanlon, Olivier Tallec (Illustrator)

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780525516316, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud picture book, perfect for any kid who has ever begged or bemoaned, "Five more minutes?!"

Families everywhere will recognize themselves in this clever, hilarious, and completely irresistible picture book. Five minutes is a lot of time... or is it? Well, it depends on what you're doing, of course! Follow one little boy and his family on a very busy day, as he discovers that sometimes five minutes feels like forever--like when you're finishing up at the dentist's office or waiting in line for the bathroom or in the backseat on a long car ride--and sometimes five minutes feels like no time at all--like when you're playing your favorite game or at the tippy top of a roller coaster or snuggling up with a book before bedtime.

About the Author

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick have collaborated on two previous picture books: Bob, Not Bob! and Dear Substitute, which both received multiple starred reviews.
Liz is the author of numerous beloved picture books, including the Caldecott Honor book All the World; Kate, Who Tamed the Wind; and Another Way to Climb a Tree. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family. Learn more at or on Twitter at @LGartonScanlon.
Audrey received a 2019 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has written more than twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, for young readers. Her picture books include the critically acclaimed Brothers at Bat, First Grade Dropout, and Take Your Octopus to School Day. She lives near the ocean in New Jersey with her family and their dog. Visit her at or on Twitter @yourbuffalo.

Olivier Tallec has illustrated many books for children, including Sealed with a Kiss by Beth Ferry and This Book Will Not Be Fun by Cirocco Dunlap. He is also the author of Who Done It? and Louis I, King of the Sheep. He lives and works in Paris, France. You can visit him online at

Praise For Five Minutes: (That's a Lot of Time) (No, It's Not) (Yes, It Is)

"Picture-book validation for any child who has ever chafed at being told 'five more minutes' before the end of a fun activity, or groaned at prolonged unpleasantness for the same span... As for the book itself, well, in five minutes you can read it to 3- to 5-year olds--twice." --The Wall Street Journal

“Certain to please, Five Minutes will have kids and grownups laughing on every page.” --Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

"'Time is relative' serves as this volume’s premise and punch line as readers follow a little boy with round eyes through his day, and five-minute time frames—usually imposed on him by the adult world—shrink and stretch depending on the circumstances. The time frame is long when the boy’s mother needs to handle some boring bank business—“Five minutes is forever,” write Scanlon and Vernick (Dear Substitute)—but it’s way too short when there are puppies to see in the pet shop window (“Only five minutes?”) or there’s a chance of winning a carnival fishing game (“Seriously. Hang on”). The crisply paced and smartly varied vignettes build to a sweet closing moment, when the father extends a snuggle and bedtime story by an extra five minutes. Tallec (What If...), working in smudgy hues of blue and green acrylic paint punctuated with orange and red, puts his protagonist through a wide range of comically dramatic poses. Funny and astute, the volume represents five minutes well spent." --Publishers Weekly

"From play time to chore time, children and adults alike will sympathize with the young protagonist as the child vacillates between interminably long and painfully brief five-minute stretches in daily life. The child writhes with discomfort in line for the bathroom and jumps up and down with impatience at suppertime, both circumstances children will instantly recognize. Careful pacing helps to stretch out five-minute eternities and provide funny juxtapositions, as in two contrasting scenes at the dentist's office. The book also opens itself to exploration of concepts of emotional intelligence, patience, and the passage of time. An accessible story that entices readers to slow down and enjoy a moment (maybe five?) in its company." --Kirkus Reviews

"As the title suggests, this is a very quotidian exploration of the lofty notion of the relativity of time as it plays out in a young kid’s life. Scanlon and Vernick effectively riff on the simple yet clever notion, building it up, seesawing dramatically between the extremes, and deploying some droll phrasing (“Five minutes is a waste of five minutes”). The acrylic and pencil art has a European flair in its wide-eyed, elongated figures and snub-nosed cars, but our hero’s histrionic body language (prostrate with horror at the post office, levitating with impatience as dinner cooks) is universal. Kids will immediately relate and chime in with their own examples of fleeting and interminable intervals." --BCCB