Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ONE WORLD by Nicola Davies


24 Hours on Planet Earth

by Nicola Davies ; illustrated by Jenni Desmond

Pub Date: March 14th, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-5362-2613-3
Publisher: Candlewick

A journey around the globe highlights ecological dangers the world over.

At midnight, two brown-skinned children living in London, in the borough of Greenwich, where time zones begin, take an instantaneous trip around the world to drop in on other regions (and time zones) “and see what’s happening on Planet Earth in just one moment.” The children observe a humpback whale in Maui (where it’s 2 p.m.), owl monkeys waking in Ecuador (7 p.m.), albatrosses nesting on Bird Island, South Georgia (10 p.m.), and more. The voyage is meant to evoke not only wonder at the natural beauty of the world, but also concern. Davies peppers the narrative with examples of how changing climates have made life more challenging for these animals, and as the youngsters return home, they travel “over ocean, where plastic clogs the waves; back over land…where fires burn and, everywhere, signs show the world is getting warmer.” The lesson on time zones and how the world’s animals spend their time becomes an ode to Earth Day, complete with protest signs, which muddies the book’s sense of exploration. It’s hard to argue with the message, but the wondrous sights, depicted in Desmond’s enchanting mixed-media illustrations with colors that pop, seem dulled by the environmental pitch. Wordy backmatter—including notes from the author and artist and information on climate change—tells rather than shows. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Beautifully illustrated and well meaning, if a bit heavy-handed.

(Informational picture book. 6-9)