The World in a Second by Isabel Minhos Martins, illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho (InfoSoup)
This picture book explores time and the way that things happen all at once across the world. Small moments are captured from various countries: an elevator stuck in New York City, a horn honks in traffic in Mexico, a volcano erupts, a boy learns to balance on his bike. One after another these snapshots of time are happening all at once and yet also form a lovely series of events that are all entirely human and show how interrelated our world actually is.
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. Martins embraces that duality in the book, capturing those universal moments but also showing the diversity around the world. A guide at the end of the book includes a map of where the various events take place all at the same time. There is a distinct wonder to the book, a feeling that the world is both larger and smaller than it had seemed to be a second before.
Carvalho’s illustrations are bold and graphic. He uses thick black lines to create scenes that are active and beautiful. One page contrasts with the next, showing diverse people and settings. The result is a feeling of moving clearly from one place to the next with each turn of the page, from lush jungles to concrete settings, from bright sunlight to clouded evening.
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. Appropriate for ages 4-7.
Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion Books.
The nominations for the 2015 Eisner Awards have been announced. These awards are for the best in comics and graphic novels and include specific categories for youth. Here are the nominees in those categories:
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
BirdCatDog by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch
A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories by John Martz
Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki Mermin, Book 3: Deep Dive by Joey Weiser
The Zoo Box by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2 by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
El Deafo by Cece Bell
I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez
Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse by Art Baltazar & Franco
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
Doomboy by Tony Sandoval
The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen
Meteor Men by Jeff Parker & Sandy Jarrell
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić
A little boy talks about his family starting with his father’s side of the family and his great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother. Then his great-grandfather and great-grandmother. His great-grandfather clearly has genetic ties to his parents, including red hair from his father and the need for glasses from his mother. Then come Pops and Nana, where again Pops shows genetic ties to his parents too. And finally there are the three siblings who all show an intriguing mix of genetics. At the center of the book are all of the family members, including his mother’s side, cousins and more. Then the book moves from his mother to his grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents showing a different genetic line, this time Asian and once again there are characteristics that carry through the generations straight to the boy at the center of the story.
Petričić is a Serbian author and illustrator. This picture book has a distinct European flair that is very appealing. The focus on family and genetics is very clever along with the delight of it being a multicultural child and family. Petričić makes sure to be respectful of both the European and Asian heritage, showing the genetics at play on both sides equally. It is also fascinating to see time pass in reverse directions on each side of the family, one getting more and more modern while the other gets more old-fashioned with each page turn. That twist adds a strong dynamic to the book, showing that genetics can be traced in both directions in a subtle but strong way.
The illustrations are funny and add to the joy of the book with the red hair of one side of the family, the glasses, then the round faces and prominent ears of the other. Readers will enjoy spotting a characteristic and turning pages to see what generation had it first and which side of the family it came from.
Cleverly done, this will be a welcome book to share when doing units on family trees or even when preparing for visits to extended family. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from digital galley received from Kids Can Press and Netgalley.