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What can happen in just a second,
a minute, or an hour?
How can we measure time?
The flap of a vulture’s wing.
A crocodile’s heartbeat.
The weight of a baby blue whale.
The life of a mayfly.
These increments of time may sound a bit strange, but they are all fascinating ways in which we can think about time.
But what exactly is time?
In Just a Second, the award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins brings forth unique ways to think about time beyond the hands we see every day on a ticking clock.
This non-fiction picture book explores time and how we think about it in a different way – as a series of events in the natural world (some of them directly observable, others not) that take place in a given unit of time. Steve Jenkins’ extraordinary illustrations will accompany this engaging look at time.
About Steve Jenkins
Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor–winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.
“This subtly philosophical examination of time, scale, and the mechanics of life is all but certain to leave readers reconsidering the world and their place in it.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This is a fascinatingly different way to approach natural history as well as time…”— Bulletin
Steve Jenkins has offered up yet another masterful science book aimed squarely at young readers. This time around, he takes on time itself and explains it in a way that is sure to engage the picture book crowd and older readers alike. The largest section is devoted to things that can occur in one second. On two page spreads, different animals and man made objects are portrayed in Jenkin’s signature colorful style, along with a small fact. Did you know that in one second, a rattlesnake shakes its tail in warning sixty times? How about a bumblebee beats its wings 200 times? Also, “Somewhere in the world, four babies are born (and two people die).”
Fortunately for us, Jenkins does not stop there. After the three spreads of one second facts, we get two double page spreads of one-minute facts, and one spread of one hour facts. Jenkins then addresses one day, one week, one month and one year. All of his facts are fascinating and of the type that trivia loving kids will just devour like candy. He states that “An estimated 50 people are killed by sharks” in one year, and humans cut down 4,000,000,000 trees. You can see the potential in this book to spark interest in a variety of subjects.
The final pages of this unique book are devoted to things that are very quick, and things that are very long. For example, who knew that A Koi lived to 226 years of age? Also included is a bar graph showing Earth’s human population growth and a very nicely done visual of the the history of the universe. The genius of this book is that it works on so many levels. The format is appealing to very young children who will enjoy the many animal facts. The sheer amount of information included marks it as an excellent choice for even older children who will gain more of a visual understanding of concepts such as population growth, lifespan and time itself.
I also liked that the author “took the time” to point out that the second, the minute, the hour, and the week were all created by humans and not based on any natural cycle. His distinction between those and the year, month and day will enable kids to look at time in a whole new way. This is an excellent choice for any classroom or family, especially those with a wide age range of children. It is a well formatted, beautiful book that offers a valuable perspective. If you purchase science books for your children, don’t miss this one. – J. Prather, Amazon.Com Customer Review
How to Really Tell Time
The New York Times Book Review – November 23, 2011 (Excerpt)
Impatient children have been known to wonder: “What’s the difference between ‘in a moment’ and ‘in a little while’?”
In his artfully designed book “Just a Second,” Steve Jenkins, an accomplished author and illustrator of science books for children, may not answer this exact question. But with great precision, he does offer young readers – both patient and dawdling – a useful perspective on the passage of time.
Jenkins isn’t here to lecture but to enlighten. With a dazzling array of science and nature facts on the order of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, he succeeds in teaching children about time even as he’s bound to pique their interest in a wide variety of behaviors, animal (in one second, a bumblebee beats its wings 200 times), human (in one second, four babies are born and two people die) and mechanical (in one second, “the Apollo 10 spacecraft traveled almost seven miles during re-entry – the fastest humans have traveled in a man-made vehicle”). Really. [Read the full article...]
The Girl Without A Past
A Children’s Novel by Judith P. Vaughan
After being lured into a devious trap, eleven years old twins, Samantha and Alex Covington find themselves transported to a parallel world. They appear in the middle of the forest, a dangerous place were Minotaurs and Trolls roam freely. There they discover that they are not the only victims when they are rescued by Lilly, a girl whose life clock has stopped and all of her past memories erased. They are about to have a mystery on their hands, a mystery that is related to their kidnapping. The clock is ticking —Samantha and Alex must hurry and find a way to get back home before their kidnapper finds them first, if not they will suffer the same fate as their new friend, Lilly.
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