Reach & Read:Ticktock Banneker’s Clock


A biography of a pretty amazing man, Benjamin Banneker. Never heard of him? Me neither until I read this book with my son. Ticktock Banneker’s Clock is a illustrated children’s book telling the story of Benjamin Banneker, who all things consider, is an unlikely, but very welcome, character to be showcased for science and innovation. Benjamin, although born as a free black man in Maryland in the early 1700s, was only able to attend some schooling, spending the majority of his time as a farmer. Remember this is during a time that slavery was still prevalent, so his ability to self-education and, as shared int he story create his own clock after studying a friends pocket watch, is all the more inspirational.

The story is written in just the right detail and just the right length for both reading aloud and eventually reading to oneself. Benjamin displays qualities of patience, care, curious, persistence and ingenuity as described in story and via illustrations. While this book only shares one small part of Mr. Banneker’s life, building a clock in his early 20s, it leaves you wanting to go research and learn more. What else can you hope for in a book!  The illustrations are bright, contain a lot of detail, show the passage of time and seasons beautifully. The most memorable picture for me is that of a cardinal in winter. The pages are full of fun ‘I spy’ items like turkeys, bees etc.

In a time where there is still an under representation of diverse characters in children’s books,  the author Shana Keller and illustrator David Garnder offer a solution. I look forward to more of Banneker’s inventions.

Want to learn more about Benjamin Banneker? Here are some additional sources. Please add others the comment section.



I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book

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