I am happy to have discovered Isabel Minhós Martins’ books

Isabel Minhós Martins, Bernardo Carvalho, Coming and Going

Published 2014 by Tate Publishing, 48p


the world in a second cover

The first book I have read by Isabel Minhós Martins, The World in a Second, is practically  a collection of illustrations that capture human events happening at the same time, in a second, around the world.  Very thoughtful, the book is a demonstration of the plurality of actions that can happen in a moment and invites to reflection on the relevance of time in our lives.

the world.jpg

More than twenty scenes explain the magnificence of time and space. In a single moment a ripe orange falls to the ground, an old lady goes to sleep, a package arrives at its destination, a wave reaches the shore and a thief opens a door. There is a map at the end of the book pointing to the places illustrated and reminding how complex and different yet beautiful the world is.

Shortly after we finished reading The World in a Second my daughter discovered Coming and Going at the library and was fascinated by its cover. Not to mention her excitement when she opened it and saw the illustrations. The whole concept of the book is creative and inspirational.

Coming and going is part of our nature. We use our legs to walk, run and move just like the Earth does. Furthermore humans have used their intelligence to build fast transportation and conquer the space.


In our eagerness, we wanted to go supersonic.

In our eagerness, we hunted for super fuels.

In our eagerness, we almost blew the fuses…

(no, not ours, but the planet’s)


But humans are not the only ones on Earth to travel long distances.

If we knew more about the movements of other animals, perhaps we’d blush.

In an informative manner we are offered reports on the effort and long distances some birds, fish and mammals face during migration. With subtle irony the author shows the contrast between human progression that led to consumerism and pollution versus the simplicity of nature that preserved the original cycles of life, transcending time.


The most impressive thing is that it does so discreetly and full of grace. Almost without bothering a soul…

Turtles, albatrosses, salmon, shearwaters, elephant seals, sharks and even lobsters travel around the Earth without upsetting its balance. As for us, we make such fuss just carrying ourselves and our things to and fro and the Earth trembles as we go.

Nature has never stopped to tell stories. Just by looking around we could learn to be more patient and tolerant, to rediscover the primal things, our identity.

Complement your reading with an inspirational novella on exceptional human qualities or with Shel Silverstein’s story on unconditional love.


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