The World in a Second

The World in a Second


Written by Isabel Minhós Martins
Illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho
Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015

Inspired by the question, "What are they doing right at this moment on the other side of the world?" this book focuses on natural and human events happening all over the world in the same second. Talking about how the world is so different in places but also so similar and shared, so incredible and surprising, the books takes us to New York, Chicago, Mexico, Portugal, Angola, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Hungry, Brazil, and South Africa, among others.

So, while you sit turning the pages of this book, things are happening everywhere. Somewhere, a wave is reaching the shore. Elsewhere, an orange falls from a tree. In yet other places, there's a traffic jam, a stuck elevator, and someone's going to sleep. Time is always in a hurry, never, ever stopping, and yet as you focus on these lovely illustrations, which stand as true evocations of place, time begins to slow down and, for moments, it even feels as if time has stopped, and you are transported—out of the flow of time and into the wholeness and purity of a moment.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-157-5
11" (W) x 11.5" (H) • 56 pages • HCJ

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A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015

★ "Even as Martins' spare text describes the action with poetic restraint via Miller-Lachmann's translation (‘In an island barbershop, a man bids farewell to his mustache’), Carvalho's double-page spreads invite readers to linger to understand each of the 23 stories. [...] The book's extra-large trim is the perfect format for this mesmerizing vision of a thrillingly expansive world." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews 

“The concept is at once immensely simple and also incredibly complex, the understanding that your own life is just one of many being lived at the very same time. … Perfect to start discussions about time and place and even time zones, this picture book allows children to think in a bigger way about their world, diversity and their own place.” —Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells 

“This contemplative thought experiment joins recent books like Bob Graham’s The Silver Button and Clotilde Perrin’s At the Same Moment, Around the World in encouraging children to consider the many things that can occur in the space of a single moment in time.” —Publishers Weekly 

“This book is perfect for every primary classroom. It makes for a gratifying read aloud and shared story time.” —Literary Fusions 

“So very many things can happen in just one short second, all around the world, and this beautiful book shows us the magic of such 'insignificant' occurrences and how fascinating they can be . . . A book to make children think—and appreciate the enormity of our planet.” —Kids’ Book Review 

“Thoughtful and thought-provoking text and large, colorful illustrations sprawling two pages take readers to 23 different stops throughout the world in one-second pauses. Beginning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and ending in Florianopolis, Brazil, readers have the chance to see what is happening at the exact same point in time… the book encourages reflection about the importance of a second in someone’s life.” —The International Literacy Association 

“Each moment leaps to life with vividly colored illustrations that spread across two pages and capture time and place with remarkably evocative detail and varied, exquisite composition. […] The central magic of this book lies in the sophisticated, elaborate treatment of an idea that sounds like it was plucked from a child’s daydream.” —Nicole Lamy, The Boston Globe 

“As with that deceptively simple poetic form, only a handful of syllables appear on each page of this handsome book, and most relate to small, quotidian things. Yet the overall effect is sweeping and dramatic. Through the clear lines of Bernardo Carvalho’s color-saturated illustrations, we travel from country to country, seeing what’s happening at the exact same moment.” —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal 

“A series of snapshots that, together, form a profound impression of the enormity and connectivity of our frenetic world . . . some of the second-long events will lead to dramatic discussions about what happens next, while others are more quietly profound. Highly recommended for any primary school child.” —Readings Bookstore

”This mesmerizing picture book shows events all over the world that take only a second to elapse. Beginning with the opening page (‘Every time a second crosses the world…millions of things happen, here, there, everywhere…’), scenes unfold, depicting activities both typical and unexpected (a volcano erupting, an old woman getting ready to go to sleep, a house being demolished). The book concludes with a map of the world that indicates where and when each moment took place. The text is straightforward, but the illustrations are stupendous. Deceptively simple, the art is flat, with a graphic feel, featuring a muted palette. Perspective is critical to the effectiveness of the images; they're presented from various creative points of view that influence viewers' perception of the scene. Teachers can easily use the spreads as writing prompts for students. … A work of art, with much potential classroom usage.” —Maggie Chase, Boise State University, School Library Journal


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