NONFICTION

Every Second: 100 Lightning Strikes, 8,000 Scoops of Ice Cream, 200,000 Text Messages, 1 Million Gallons of Cow Burps...and Other Incredible Things That Happen Each Second Around the World

What On Earth Bks. May 2020. 56p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781912920303.
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Gr 1-5–What happens in one second? More than one would think. Though a substantial 56 pages, the book consists primarily of two sentences. The narrative begins, “Every second, around the world 1 wedding is celebrated…” and continues until the summation sentence. Intriguing statistics about our world are interspersed throughout. The facts initially seem random, but they follow a loose pattern. For example, following a series of facts related to human dietary habits, readers learn the volume of human excrement and household waste produced each second (20,300 and 23,300 pounds, respectively) and the relatively paltry amount of recycling and replanting that humans do. The cartoon-style illustrations are in color but use muted tones. Gibert depicts people in a variety of shades including blue; and as illustrative statistics, they are representative rather than emotive. On one page, sand swirls in the sky above an expansive desert dwarfing the blue silhouette of a person on camelback. The text reads, “11,500 pounds of sand, carried by the wind, leave the Sahara Desert.” No artwork details are included, but the colors appear porous, evoking newsprint, sponge, or screen printing.
VERDICT This book will amuse and enlighten young or casual readers; more thoughtful readers will appreciate its global perspective and many ideas to ponder.

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