At This Very Moment

Cover

Written and Illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Dutton Children’s Books, 2011

Each and every moment of each and every day, amazing things are happening…

The plot in a nutshell: Things happen all over the world as you go about your day.

While you’re waking up, sheep are navigating the steep trail along a mountain. And as you get ready for school, sharks swim around the ocean and polar bears run. When you stop for a drink at a water fountain, a deer sips from a stream. While you enjoy your dinner, puffins, owls, snakes, beavers and birds all do the same in different ways. When you’re getting ready for bed, there are animals just waking up to hunt or fly, but there are others going to sleep, just like you.

Bears

Awwww, some of the cutest killing machines ever!

Author/illustrator Jim Arnosky has written over a hundred books, all about nature and animals, which is a subject that is clearly very close to his heart. In the book’s endpapers, he includes a note to the reader in which he explains that many of the animals depicted in this story live far away from his home in Vermont, but thinking about what they may be doing simultaneously gives him a sense of connection to all of these species. He goes on to mention each species pictured and share any personal experiences he’s had with them. I think this brings a sense of connecting the reader and author, adding on to the bond that Mr. Arnosky has already written about.

The artwork is lovely, with a clear emphasis on both the featured animals and the landscape of their environments. There’s a wonderful use of color, especially in the contrasting settings and times of day. The overall message is one of harmony and unity, in the idea that we are all sharing this time period and this planet and its resources together at the same time. At a time when we seem to be constantly defined by our differences, remembering all the ways that we are connected feels very meaningful.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that the world is full of life, and every moment is an important moment for someone.

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