Thursday, September 22, 2011
Every Minute on Earth, written by Steve Murrie and Matthew Murrie, illustrated by Mary Anne LLoyd. Scholastic, 2007. $11.99 ages 8 and up
"These tiny birds are able to hover by flapping their wings in figure eight patterns. Their wings are made of bones, like in your hands, instead of arm bones like most birds, which make them more maneuverable. The resting heart rate of most hummingbirds is 50 to 180 beats a minute."
The fact gatherers at home and in school classrooms are going to love this book. It is great fun to read, and a valuable resource as well. It is filled with a boatload of information about all those extraordinary, and ordinary, things that happen in the speedy span of sixty seconds.
For Harry Potter fans, here's one:
"Eager readers purchased 1,111 copies each minute on the first day of sale of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, book six in J. K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter series."
And for fans of gross and unusual details:
"Each minute, 30,00 to 40,000 pieces of dead skin are lost. Even though the skin is not typically thought of as an organ, like the kidney or liver, scientifically it is."
It's just the kind of stuff you can share at the next dinner party, isn't it? Or, that will make you cringe when your fact-laden young reader wants to share new learning with anyone interested in listening. You will be hopping all around its pages to discover the next fascinating bit that happens 'in a minute'. The book is divided into eight chapters...earth, space, the human body, technology, animals, food, pop culture and sports. Where would you start?
Take it with you when the wait at the restaurant might have you needing to keep the kids entertained. Or, what about the next road trip to an out-of-town game or family visit? I always have a book in my car, just in case I get stopped by a train. This book would be the perfect way to make that time pass more quickly. In school, it might be just the thing to get a young researcher interested in pursuing a new topic.
This father and son team have included more than 200 bits of data to intrigue and inspire their audience. One a day would take you way past half the year, and fill your heads with a lot of 'stuff'. They also include two activities at the end of each chapter. Finally, there is a section on source notes and a complete and useful index.
What you have to keep reminding yourself is that each of these things happen in just one minute!
"Krispy Kreme doughnuts are produced at the rate of 5, 208 doughnuts a minute. That totals 2.7 billion a year."
"Food moves 1.1 inches (2.8 centimetres) in the small intestine every minute."
"A woodpecker can hammer with its bill 150 times a minute."