Jesse Jarnow

wonders, inc.

Without question, one of my favorite books as a kid was Crawford Kilian’s Wonders, Inc., about a boy’s trip to a massive, mysterious factory on the outskirts of town that manufactures (among other products) lines, space, proverbs, music, dreams, and more. John Larrecq’s psychedelic illustrations certainly didn’t hurt. Here, the dopey tour guide, Mr. Whipple, and the bright-eyed Christopher wander through the surrealist mechanics of the Clockworks:

They walked among the machines, Mr. Whipple pointing them out, “This one makes part-time; this one full-time; that one three-quarter time, time-and-a-half, and double-time. We also make Greenwich Mean Time, bedtime, pastime, nick-of-time, and a good variety of specialties.”

“Specialties?” Chris repeated.

“Oh, yes. We turn out a fine brand of split seconds, not to mention fleeting moments and carefully aged days. There’s a great demand for the good old days, you know.”

“Maybe among grownups,” Chris added, “but I prefer nowadays.”

“I thought you would. We make the best nowadays on the market.”

Though it’s super outta print, Amazon has many copies starting at $1.05. Wish there were some illustrations online.