Today's picture book takes children on a journey through these time zones, and we see how alike, and also how different the people in distant parts of the world are. We get a sense of how big and varied our world is; and how marvelous and beautiful it is.
Around the world right now
Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard
Illustrated by Olivia Beckman
For ages 5 to 7
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017, 978-1-58536-976-8
Many of us have family members and friends who live in other states and countries, and we understand that this means that we do not share the same time zone. What we frequently don’t fully understand is that there are twenty-four times zones around the world, and “each and every one of them is happening right now.” What an extraordinary idea!
In this clever picture book the author takes us on a trip around the world, one time zone at a time, beginning in San Francisco and going west from there. It is six o’clock in the morning when we begin in California. The cable car is going by with a “clickety-clack” as it makes its way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
When we travel west we come to Santa Fe where it is seven o’clock in the morning. Here the sun is higher in the sky, shining down on an artist who is painting in the Plaza.
While he is painting his masterpiece, it is eight o’clock in New Orleans, and people are sitting in the Café Du Monde sipping coffee and eating beignets. Jazz musicians are playing nearby. At exactly the same time, in New York City, people are busily crossing the streets in throngs, heading to work.
On we go around the world, visiting people in Canada and Brazil. We land on an island in the Atlantic, stop in Greenland, and then go on to London, Rome, and Cape Town. We see people playing, working, eating, and exploring their worlds.
With every step west that we go, we encounter a new culture in a new time zone, and we get to see how varied these places are. We also get to appreciate that a thread of commonality connects us all, no matter where we live. We may be getting up in the morning while someone in India is going to sleep, but we all have hopes and dreams, and we all love our friends and family members.
The authors and illustrator of this book have found a creative way to explore time zones, while at the same time celebrating the beauty and diversity of our world.