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Just a Second Hardcover – Oct 25 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (Oct. 25 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618708960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618708963
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 25.4 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"This subtly philosophical examination of time, scale, and the mechanics of life is all but certain to leave readers reconsidering the world and their place in it."— Publishers Weekly, starred review "This is a fascinatingly different way to approach natural history as well as time..."— Bulletin

"Jenkins renders this package both eye-catching and mind boggling. Teachers will find good jumping-off points here for math, science, and history discussions."— School Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated over twenty picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor–winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eyepopping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children. To learn more about Steve and his books, visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A unique and beautiful look at time Nov. 4 2011
By J.Prather - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Just a Second Feb. 7 2012
By SHBachan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just a Second was interesting as it put seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years into comparison to events taking place in the world around the reader. Some of the concepts were a little larger than a young child can relate to, however overall the comparisons of time and things taking place were realistic and informative. A fun read for an adult to share with children!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
What Can Happen? Dec 6 2011
By Catherine W. Hughes - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What can happen on the earth in one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, or one year? Steve Jenkins explores time, both fast and slow, revealing some fun facts about nature and the earth. Curious children, ages 4-7, will want to unlock the mysteries of time and life on this planet, known as earth.
Five Stars July 7 2014
By Pat Radford - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book that states facts in time - one second, one minute, one day, one month.
Steve Jenkins is a great picture book author/illustrator with an emphasis on the natural sciences. March 8 2014
By Jessica - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Jenkins is a favorite author/illustrator for our family. His information is scientifically detailed and accurate, accompanied by beautiful and interesting images. This is another winner for us!