In one minute, you can blink your eyes twenty times, hug your dog, plant seeds, say good-bye, watch the rain, or even save a life. So much can occur in this sliver of time—one minute can feel like a singular experience. This poignant picture book is at once an introduction to time for young readers, an ode to living each moment with purpose, and a thoughtful exploration of how children experience one minute (may it seem short or long) playfully, profoundly, and with a boundless sense of possibility. Plus, this is the fixed format version, which looks almost identical to the print edition.
In this intimate meditation on the 60-second interval, Korean author-illustrator Ahn examines the way time seems to expand or contract depending on the situation. Childlike drawings in crayon-box colors follow a girl with pigtails and her impish companion, a small black-and-brown dog. Ahn supplies a few facts "In one minute, you blink your eyes 20 times, and your hair grows .00068 centimeters" then turns to the way time feels. On a carousel, "one minute is short"; in the dentist's chair, "one minute is long." When you're with your friends, "it is short again." The girl and her friends chase a soccer ball around the park as the girl's mother sits and watches from a picnic blanket. The mother is pregnant, readers may notice, which leads nicely to the book's final observations: "In a minute, someone can leave" readers see the girl tearfully hugging her mother goodbye "And someone can arrive." (A page turn shows a brand-new baby on the girl's lap.) Although it never says so explicitly, Ahn's debut speaks to children whose sense of time is very different from the grownups who control it. Ages 3 5.