When you’re snuggled in bed listening to a story, do you ever wonder what’s happening elsewhere in the world, way beyond your cozy covers, far away?
Around the World Right Now, by mother-daughter team Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard, provides some engaging answers. Lively drawings by Olivia Beckman, a Spanish illustrator, makes this trip around the globe a colorful and cheerful one as families of a multitude of nationalities eat gelato, skip rope and dance across the pages. This clever read-aloud shows the world and its cultures through a snapshot of one point in time in each of the world’s 24 time zones.
While you snooze through the night, the rest of the world is wide awake, laughing, camping and carrying on. The book opens on a noisy San Francisco street, where the clang of the cable car gives way to the sound of jazz musicians playing near the Mississippi in New Orleans. Then it’s off to New York, Nova Scotia and Brazil, where the strains of bossa nova linger in the air. A lemur joins a family picnic in Madagascar in the afternoon, and deep in the Pacific Ocean, a baby whale is born. Before dawn, a moose strolls through an Alaskan town while the residents sleep. Every minute, as we whisk around the world, “something wonderful is happening.”
The whirlwind tour ends with a number of useful facts and instructions for crafting a paper-plate sundial.
Billie B. Little is the Founding Director of Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, a hands-on museum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.