cover image The World in a Second

The World in a Second

Isabel Minhós Martins, trans. from the Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann, illus. by Bernardo Carvahlo. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $18.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-59270-157-5

First published in 2008, 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. Martins, who collaborated with Carvahlo on the movement-themed Coming and Going, introduces 23 scenes in short, captionlike bursts that keep the focus on the large, richly colored images. The scenes can be mundane (“In a Portuguese orchard, a ripe orange falls”), joyful (“A wave reaches the shore” of a South African beach, dense with happy swimmers), and even unnerving: in the Italian city of Pescara, “A thief opens a door (perhaps to his own house, it’s impossible to say).” Each spread is numbered (a closing map reveals a location and timestamp for each moment), and the questions the images raise (What will become of that storm-battered ship in the Baltic Sea? Will those New Yorkers ever get out of that elevator?) will stick with readers—for longer than a second, anyway. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]