Published first in French in 2011, Perrin’s elegant construction looks at children and young people around the globe eastward from the Greenwich meridian.
At 6 a.m. in Dakar, Senegal, Keita is helping his father with his catch of fish. “At the same moment,” goes the refrain, it is 7 a.m. in Paris, and Benedict is drinking his hot chocolate before school. The moment unfolds with Yasmine in Baghdad, Lilu in the Himalyas, Chen in Shanghai, Allen and Kiana in Honolulu, and so on. The children range in age from newborn, like Diego in Lima, Peru, who is born there at 1 a.m., to teenagers, like Sharon and Peter kissing goodbye in San Francisco at 10 p.m. The pictures, in pencil and digital color, fill the tall oblong shape of the book dramatically. Details are telling: A little red-beaked bird appears on most of the pages; the Frenchman striding along with his briefcase is smoking a cigarette; in Dubai, Nadia is watching yet another huge building go up; Pablo’s dreams in Mexico City take shape with Aztec symbols. A lovely foldout world map places and names all these children. A brief but excellent description of time zones and timekeeping closes the volume. Who knew that India and China both have only one time zone across their huge expanses?
A very fine working of story, information, art and culture. (Picture book. 5-9)