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Just a Second Hardcover – Oct 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (Oct. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618708960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618708963
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 0.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 many nonfiction 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, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9df2cde0) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9df6d750) out of 5 stars 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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fef1c78) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0x9df07768) out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dae5858) out of 5 stars Just Marvelous Jan. 29 2012
By Kate Coombs - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not since Hazel Hutchins and Kady MacDonald Denton's A Second Is a Hiccup has somebody made such a beautiful book about time. Only, where Hutchins and Denton used analogies from the world of humans, Jenkins not unexpectedly uses the world of animals. So what can animals do in one second?

"A vulture in flight flaps its wings once. A pygmy shrew's heart beats 14 times. A bat makes 200 high-pitched calls. A rattlesnake shakes its tail in warning 60 times. A hummingbird beats its wings 50 times. A bumblebee beats its wings 200 times. A midge, a kind of gnat, beats its wings 1,000 times. A woodpecker hammers a tree with its beak 20 times."

And that's just the first page! Using his signature bright backdrops and collage animals, Jenkins gives us more "one second" examples before going on to talk about what animals--and plants and planets--do in one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, and one year. He throws in an extra spread called "Very Quick" for things that happen in even less than a second. I once looked all over the place for information about the speed at which a frog zaps and swallows an insect (and had trouble finding that fact); here Jenkins tells us that the Shasta salamander "can snap up an insect in 1/100 of a second."

The author/illustrator also gives us "Very Long," including "an ocean quahog, a clam, [that] lived to be 405 years old...." and he throws in a history of the universe (on one page!), Earth's human population growth from 1750 to a projected 2050, plus an extra chart about plant and animal life spans. Pretty stuff, and pretty fascinating!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e117bf4) out of 5 stars neat facts Feb. 16 2012
By Melissa Sack - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...How do you measure a year?
This book explains various things that happens on the earth in one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, or oneyear. Did you know that in one single second, a hummingbird beats its wings 50 times? Did you know that in one minute, a hamster's heart beats about 450 times? This book is full of fun facts like this,complete with illustrations. Trivia fans will enjoy this book! Lots of great facts to learn in this collection.