Even “while you turn the pages of this book, the world doesn’t stop….”
So what happens in the very busy titular second? A container ship struggles in a storm on the Baltic; an elevator gets stuck in New York City; a driver honks impatiently in a Mexican traffic jam; a volcano erupts; “a very old woman closes her eyes to sleep.” Even as Martins’ spare text describes the action with poetic restraint via Miller-Lachmann’s translation (“In an island barbershop, a man bids farewell to his mustache”), Carvalho’s double-page spreads invite readers to linger to understand each of the 23 stories. Boys on a terraced, urban soccer court watch in alarm as a “ball flies toward a window” of an adjacent apartment building; behind a police barrier, a man in a furry hat depresses a plunger and demolishes another apartment building, next to a nuclear power plant. The flat, posterlike art features bright, matte colors and shapes defined by sure, black lines. In sequencing, the book resists easy, time-zone chronology, taking readers from Papua New Guinea to Portugal to Angola to Turkey with successive turns of the page, creating an experience that is at once disorienting and immersive. A concluding map provides a key to each picture’s location and time of day.
The book’s extra-large trim is the perfect format for this mesmerizing vision of a thrillingly expansive world. (Picture book. 4-8)