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.