Review: Just a Second by Steve Jenkins

just a second

Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at Time by Steve Jenkins

Jenkins always manages to make science and nature even more fascinating than it usually is.  In this book, he shows the passage of time in unique and  intriguing ways that will get young scientists thinking differently.  What happens in one second?  Well, in that second a bat can make 200 calls or hummingbird beats its wings 50 times.  What happens in one minute?  In a minute a grizzly bear can charge up to one half-mile or a skydiver falls 2 miles during free fall.  How about an hour?  A day?  A week?  Longer?  For all of these, Jenkins selects intriguing examples of what happens during that time period that will have you thinking about time and what can be done in ways you never expected.

Jenkins’ paper collage art is on display here, vibrant against the plain backgrounds of the pages.  His exacting art uses pattern, subtle color changes and textures to great effect.  His collage work is done with such attention to detail that it often doesn’t look like cut paper work.  It is as beautiful as his work always is.

Jenkins has selected fascinating bits of trivia to put on display here.  This book will not give you the complete story of the natural examples, but will definitely open readers’ minds to new ways of looking at time and action.  It is one of those books that invites you to explore the ideas that capture your imagination further in other places. 

A great gateway book that broadens the mind, this nonfiction book is appropriate for ages 5-9. 

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Trains Go by Steve Light

trains go

Trains Go by Steve Light

This board book celebrates the various sounds that trains make as they travel the rails.  There is the
“Squeak Clang Ting Bing Bing Bing!” of the freight train.  The streamliner makes a long “wooo wooo” sound in contrast.  Mountain train noises are full of “trip trap” and “fuff puff.”  The noises include toots, whistles, dings and of course a few choo choos too!  This is a great pick for the smallest train enthusiasts.

Light’s illustrations are done in deep colors with plenty of strong black lines to offer a mechanical foundation to the illustrations.  Against the white backgrounds, the bright colored trains pop as they whiz past.  Light uses the full page, filling it with the sounds of the trains, the tracks, and the smoke and steam they create.  They have a strong sense of motion as they sound their whistles and zoom by.

A fun read aloud, this is one that will be popular with little train fans.  If you are doing baby or toddler story times, this just might get everyone along for a train ride together!  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.