Sleeping Bear Press 978-1585369768
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Click here to Order Autographed Copies

Around the World Right Now

Written by Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard | Illustrated by Olivia Beckman 

32p. Sleeping Bear. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781585369768. Gr 1-5 – Read aloud: age 6 – 8. Read yourself: age 7 – 8.

“A clever nonfiction picture book that introduces the concepts of time zones, continents, and culture. Readers begin their international journey at six o’clock in San Francisco and then progress through each time zone, moving across the Atlantic, roaming through Europe, and so on, before returning to the streets of San Francisco. Each page features a different time zone, along with a short description, and detailed illustrations of local customs and peoples. The authors provide further information and activities on the topic of travel and time zones in the last two pages, adding a welcomed educational component. This is a versatile book that could be used to introduce children to a variety of topics, from geography to time. In addition to teaching concepts, it reinforces a crucial message of unity by featuring children of all ages and races from around the globe. Illustrating 24 different time zones is no small feat, yet Beckman rises to the challenge. VERDICT A high-quality book for our times, in both its educational and inclusive message.”– Katherine Hickey, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City –

 “Around the World Right Now” by Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard and illustrated by Olivia Beckman is a nonfiction book that cleverly illustrates the different time zones and what might be happening around the world when it’s six o’clock in the morning in San Francisco. The repeated phrase is “And somewhere in the world… It’s — o’clock in the morning/afternoon/evening. “In Santa Fe, New Mexico, an artist sits in front of his easel to paint the early morning sunlight…” and goes on to note that “It’s five o’clock in the afternoon…in Madagascar (a large island off the east coast of Africa) along the Avenue of the Baobabs, a playful lemur decides to join a family’s picnic.” And at three o’clock in the morning “Deep in the Pacific Ocean, a baby humpback whale is born.” Kids will love reading about different places and trying to find them on a map. They also might be interested in making a sundial (instructions in the back). It’s a perfect companion text for a young science class.Reviewer/educator Pam Kramer for Huffington Post

“Illustrated by Olivia Beckman and travels through some 24 time zones as it helps young readers understand the world and experience other cultures and their daily interests.  This world-hopping tour ranges from the U.S. to Greenland, Thailand, Russia, and Australia, where "somewhere in the world" the time zone is different, and different peoples enjoy special pursuits. The blend of geography and time zone details creates a fun story that will be relished by kids with good reading skills and an ability to comprehend both time zones and other cultures.July Recommended Reading/Prime Picks – Donovan’s Bookshelf… “

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 cheerfulone as families of a multitude of nationalities eat gelato, skip rope and dance across the pages. This clever read-aloudshows 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.

 “There are twenty-four hours in a day; and in the twenty-four different time zones all around the world, each and every one of them is happening now.”  So begins this intriguing, thought-provoking book that introduces geography, time-telling, and how very diverse our world is, every minute of every day. At the very same moment, in one part of the world children in Cape Town, South Africa stop skipping rope to look at a rainbow, while in another part of the world, people take a late-night stroll in Tokyo, Japan. At that same moment, traditional dancers are entertaining audiences in Bangkok, Thailand and a baby humpback whale is born deep in the Pacific Ocean. Enormously interesting, including the back matter that provides additional information, Around the World Right Now is a unique gem of a book.  Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at

The authors Gina Cascone, and her daughter, Bryony Williams Sheppard, and their illustrator, Olivia Beckman, have created a quick trip around the world, visiting twenty-four time zones in locations, one on each page each displaying a quick peak into some unique places. The locales are different, a little off the beaten path but each page has an interesting fact and accompanying illustrations to pique the readers interest. Example: it is one o’clock in the afternoon in Greenland features an Inuit boy.   The book is built on this repeating phrase about current time, teaching about time and time zones in a simple way. Every page has a clock displaying the time, depending on reader age it might just be fun to locate or if a bit older practice telling time.  It is enjoyable to read and the pictures and places allow for conversation and interaction between reader and listener. It does not get old to re-read.  I love books with layers of diversity and this book certainly captures a wide range of people, place and cultures, making space for more conversation as the reader ages, fostering a worldly view and hopefully, inspiring a desire to travel.  The last few pages have some additional information to augment the book either in a classroom or at home, such as how to use a globe or make a sundial. Spoiler alert though – five o’clock is not a happy hour scene in Margaritaville….. it is in Madagascar along the Avenue of the Baoababs with some lemurs. I recommend this book and look forward to seeing what other books this trio create! -



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