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Monday, November 21, 2011

Just a Second

How many times have I uttered these phrases? Just a second or Just a minute. They are poor substitutes for what I really mean, usually I will be there when I finish whatever I am doing now. The older I get, the more careful I am with my speech, and I have tried to eliminate those pat responses.

Steve Jenkins's newest book Just a Second makes me ponder the meaning to even greater lengths. In a second, I learned, woodpeckers can hammer a tree trunk 20 times, and a human can blink 7 times. In a minute, a human heart beats about 70 times while a hamster's heart beats 450 times! In an hour, baby blue whales gain 10 pounds when drinking their mothers' milk. In a day, the worldwide chicken population lays 2,000,000,000 eggs. In a week, moose antlers can grow by 6 inches. Not one to usually memorize facts, I found myself fixated on the incredible statistics in the book.

Of course, his incredible cut-paper illustrations astound me! The crushed aluminum can (with accompanying facts about the landfill accumulation in a month) looks real! The details of eyes, tails, and teeth on the mice offspring (with a horrifying fact about what the worldwide population would be is all the original pair's offspring survived) are amazing. He is noted for his fabulous, fact-filled glossaries, and this book also includes terrific timelines and graphs. Students will love it as a book to peruse alone or to hear read aloud.


  1. I love Steve Jenkins' books, and this one sounds like another winner.

  2. i always suspected i had something in common with the blue whale. in an hour i can gain ten pounds eating a batch of your brownies.

  3. He seems to have a never-ending supply of fascinating subjects, combined with gorgeous cutpaper art.

  4. I can think of several people who would love this book - thanks for the rec. and review.

  5. Put it on your reserve list, David. I just returned it.

    You are so funny, Brattcat! I love watching you eat brownies quickly :)

    I think he'd do a fabulous job with one of your books, Joyce.

    Another thing I love about the book, Sharon, is that he tells about the history of time as each measurement is introduced. I will use it at school.