Librarian: Sarah Allerton, children's librarian, St. Albans Free Library
Book: Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at Time by Steve Jenkins
Age range: 4 and up
Allerton's summary: In this stunning, nonfiction picture book, Just a Second, Steve Jenkins explores time in a way that's radically different from clockwatching. He uses dramatic examples of what takes place in an hour, a day or a year to make mind-boggling comparisons that demonstrate just how much — or how little — happens as time passes. For example, a midge beats its wings a thousand times in a second, while a sprinting cheetah travels 100 feet. A baby blue whale gains 10 pounds an hour. In two billion years, the Earth's oceans will have boiled away. Jenkins weaves together math, science and natural-history lessons while artfully explaining how people have experienced and measured the passage of time throughout history.
Who will like it: The picture-book format will appeal to preschoolers, but even older kids and adults will enjoy Just a Second. It's a thought-provoking choice for the kitchen table or the classroom, a jumping-off point for discussions and projects.