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Children's Nonfiction Date & Time

Just a Minute!

A Crazy Adventure in Time

by (author) Jeff Szpirglas

illustrated by Stephen MacEachern

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2009
Date & Time
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 10
  • Grade: 2 to 5


In just a minute...your heart will beat 60 to 100 times, your kitchen faucet will send two to four gallons of water down the drain, a cheetah racing after its food will run the length of four to five football fields... What else can happen in just a minute? Readers will have to follow David (who is almost five million minutes old) through his zany day — which involves escaped animals, a crashed movie set, and backyard hijinks — to find out. As readers come along for the ride, they learn a myriad of facts — featured as fast facts on the pages — related to what can happen in a minute in the world all around them. A special section at the back of the book presents a brief history of time devices, from sundials to water clocks and candle clocks, all the way through to atomic clocks. Howlingly funny, surprising, and fascinating, this is a tour through time that readers won’t want to miss.

About the authors



JEFF SZPIRGLAS is the author of multiple books in the Countdown to Danger series. In addition to his choose-your-own-path titles, Jeff has written award-nominated non-fiction books and several terrifying novels and horror collections for middle-grade readers, including Tales from the Fringes of Fear and Tales from Beyond the Brain. With his wife, Danielle Saint-Onge, he is the co-author of the Orca Echoes books X Marks the Spot!, Something's Fishy and Messy Miranda. He's worked at CTV Television and was an editor at Chirp, chickaDEE and Owl magazines. He has twin children, two cats (the cats are not twins) and one dog. In his spare time, he teaches elementary school. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Visit him online at


Jeff Szpirglas' profile page

Stephen MacEachern attended Sheridan Institute for animation and illustration and has taught in the illustration program there. He is a Web and print designer as well as an illustrator. He has illustrated more than ten children's books. He lives in Erin, Ontario.

Stephen MacEachern's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A book that can be returned to over and over...every page has jokes and fascinating information to catch the eye.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

This book is pure fun with a surprising amount of information included...The illustrations are dramatic, lively, and set a rapid pace for the story. There is so much to discover on every page. Young readers should enjoy the statistics — a lot can happen in just a minute!

Resource Links

Dip into the book at any page and you're guaranteed to come across a new piece of information about our world that you've never encountered before...a particularly wonderful book because Szpirglas takes special care to present the facts in an accessible manner.

Canadian Children’s Book News

The key here lies in relating time to everyday events, and Just a Minute! is packed with examples that young readers will understand and enjoy.

Quill & Quire

Librarian Reviews

Just a Minute! A Crazy Adventure in Time

In this lively, fun-filled book, Jeff Szpirglas introduces readers to all of the jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring phenomena that can happen in a minute (and an hour, a day, a month, etc.). Through bite-sized factoids scattered throughout the book, readers learn how many times a shrew’s heart beats in a minute, how much a Komodo dragon can eat in one minute, how many minor earthquakes take place on Earth every minute, and more.

While these exciting facts are neatly woven together by way of a brief story involving ten-year-old David, a family trip and the extraordinary turns they take along the way, you don’t have to read the pages in order – the book is made for berry picking. Dip into the book at any page and you’re guaranteed to come across a new piece of information about our world that you’ve never encountered before. Also included is a very short section at that back of the book on the history of different devices that tell time: candles, hourglasses, pendulum clocks and more.

Just a Minute! is a particularly wonderful book because Szpirglas takes special care to present the facts in an accessible manner. His clear explanations make it easy for readers to understand and visualize all of the information being presented. For example, units of measurement used in the book include school rulers, thumb widths and movie runtimes – as in, a space shuttle takes about ninety minutes (around the length of a movie) to make a full orbit of Earth.

The book’s content and cartoon-style design will appeal to enthusiastic readers and reluctant readers alike. The fun facts are perfectly paired with Stephen MacEachern’s entertaining, action-packed illustrations. There’s so much to see and learn on every page that this book will definitely get read and re-read.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2009. Vol.32 No.3.

Other titles by Jeff Szpirglas

Other titles by Stephen MacEachern