by Clotilde Perrin
Chronicle Books 3/11/2014
Age 4 to 8 36 pages
“Discover Benedict drinking hot chocolate in Paris, France, Mitko chasing the school bus in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Khanh having a little nap in Hanoi, Vietnam. With each turn of the page, learn what people around the world are doing at the same exact moment.”
“It is six o’clock in the morning in Dakar, Senegal. Keita wakes up early to help his father count the fish count during the night.”
At the Same Moment, Around the World takes the reader around the world—time zone by time zone—to see what people around the world are doing at the same time. What the world is doing at 6 o’clock in the morning, Greenwich Time, connects us in a way many never consider. Each turn of the page takes the reader into a new time zone—one hour later, yet the same time as when the story began—traveling eastward from Dakar, Senegal.
As Keita counts fish in Dakar, Senegal, Nadia watches the construction of a new building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Allen and Kiana watch the sun set in Hawaii, and a baby is born at 1 o’clock in the morning in Lima, Peru. Finally, bringing the reader full circle, a cruise ship sails mid-Atlantic Ocean at 5 o’clock in the morning. In Dakar, Senegal, Keita is counting fish with his father.
Originally published in France (2011), At the Same Moment, Around the World is a gorgeous book with the illustrations picturing early morning to early morning. The left side of each spread flows into the right side. Time gradually moves on, or does it? Time is abstract. What is moving is the Earth and though 6 o’clock in one country is 7 o’clock in another, they are really the same moment in time. This is an abstract concept that may be difficult for kids to grasp right away. Some will ask, “Why isn’t it just the same time?” That is a good question. Teachers in science classes, what is the answer? I think At the Same Moment, Around the World could help explain this phenomenon.
Kids will marvel at this book. The illustrations flow from morning to night with ease. The details in each time zone are fascinating. They give a clue to the country. In Dubai, where construction has never really stopped, the image is of a construction site. In Hawaii, where the sunsets are amazing, that is what we see there. The author also includes a world map that marks each child’s location. What are missing are the time zones on this beautiful pastel map.
The illustrations have enough detail that without the text it would be easy to understand the time of day. The book’s large rectangular shape, allowing for the sky’s inclusion, also helps. At the Same Moment, Around the World shows kids—and adults—that the world has solidarity. One thing to note: there is a white bird with an orange beak in nearly every illustration, as if following the author as artist from place to place
I love the illustrations showing what people are doing at the same moment in time, depending on where they are living. While I write this review at 9 o’clock in the evening, someone in Paris, France is tossing and turning in bed (2 o’clock), and in Hawaii, the early dinner crowd is sitting down to eat (4 o’clock). All these things are happening At the Same Moment, Around the World. There is one last note: in looking at the author’s website, she has the book, folded by page but not torn apart. Placed end-to-end, Ms. Perrin makes a circle. I think this is terrific and couldn’t let the review pass without mentioning it–or showing you.
Learn more about At the Same Moment, Around the World HERE.
AT THE SAME MOMENT, AROUND THE WORLD. Text and illustrations copyright (2011) by Clotilde Perrin. Translation copyright © 2014 by Chronicle Books. Reproduced by permission of the publisher Chronicle Books, San Francisco CA.