Praise for At This Very Moment
'Soothing, rhythmic, often repetitive words and distinctive illustrations make this a lovely, quiet book that radiates calm'. --Kirkus
'What a reassuring and peaceful last book of the night!'
--Youth Services Book Review
'There’s a sweet simplicity about this book, making this a great pick for early readers'. --San Francisco Book Review
'Beautiful lyrical text and captivating artwork focus on different living things and landscapes, reminding young readers to remain in the present while reflecting on and appreciating “this very moment”. --Paper Ren
'Told with simplicity and a variety of landscapes, this is an enchanting story'. --My Shelves Are Full
'A lullaby of a book.' --The Literacy Tree
'This simple yet captivating book presents pre-school readers with highly illustrated scenes of what is happening right now'. --School Reading List
'A perfect bedtime tale for a young audience'. --Book & Gift Blogger
Have you ever stopped to think about what is happening at this very moment in time? In this poetic book about the present moment, Matthew Hodson explores what is happening in the natural world, at this very moment in time.
At this very moment
There's a mouse
There’s a small mouse waking up in the early morning sun
And at this very moment
There’s a whale
There’s a blue whale singing whale song, deep beneath the sea
As you sit and read this book
Somewhere there’s a plum
A plum so ripe a worm will come
And eat it for its tea
At This Very Moment is a beautifully poetic bedtime book for children ages 2 and up. Using simple but evocative language, it describes all the wonderful things that are going on around the world right now, this very second. In doing so, it asks the young reader to be present in this moment in time and to feel at one with the giant, magnificent organism that is our planet.
In an entirely organic and unselfconscious way, this book encourages mindfulness and reflection as well as a sense of marvel at the world we live in.
And at this very moment
Somewhere there’s a baby
There are babies everywhere
Drifting off to sleep…
'Living in the moment with an awareness of the whole world.
At any one time, an uncountable number of events are happening. Just a few are included in this story that begins with “a small mouse waking up / in the early morning sun.” Tan sands split the spread horizontally, and a golden brown mouse in lower verso visually balances the golden rising sun in upper recto. At the very moment the mouse wakes, somewhere in the world a whale sings, a worm inches toward a ripe plum, and bees gather “pollen on their knees.” Children will relate to these familiar concepts lyrically described and simply illustrated, but the existential simplicity of “There’s a mountain in the mountains / and there’s no one at the top” is probably beyond their development. With the “Snap / Snap / Snap” of a hungry crocodile’s jaws, the time reference becomes more personal midway in the story. “As you sit and read this book,” monkeys are eating, rivers are flowing to the sea, a turtle is swimming above the coral reef, and birds are making a ruckus at sunset. The story ends with the comforting thought that “there are babies everywhere drifting off to sleep.” Soothing, rhythmic, often repetitive words and distinctive illustrations make this a lovely, quiet book that radiates calm, but the simultaneous occurrence of these loosely organized events may conceptually challenge the youngest listeners, who live in their own here and now.
Both a lovely Zen meditation and an introduction to simultaneity'. --Kirkus
'This lovely book imagines scenes around the world “at this very moment.” Repetitive, simple text shows a mouse waking up in the morning sun, potatoes growing underground, a river flowing out to sea, and, finally, “babies everywhere drifting off to sleep.” Little listeners can imagine life peacefully going on around them as they fall asleep.
Uncluttered text is placed at the upper left and lower right of each page opening, with familiar animals and other living things in the center. The simplicity of the images and the liltingly repetitive phrases add to the feeling of calm. What a reassuring and peaceful last book of the night!' --Youth Services Book Review
'At This Very Moment is a story about the here and now. The author eloquently emphasizes all that’s taking place simultaneously if only one takes a minute to notice. Beauty can be found in small, seemingly insignificant things such as a gently flowing river going out to sea or a softly chirping bird nesting in a nearby jungle.
There’s a sweet simplicity about this book, and it’s just the right length for young children to stay interested. The illustrations are plentiful and vibrant; some are eye-catching. The reading level is approximately first or second grade, making this a great pick for early readers'. --San Francisco Book Review
'In this poetic book about the present moment, Matthew Hodson explores what is happening in the natural world, at this very moment in time.
The beautiful lyrical text and captivating artwork focus on different living things and landscapes, from a sleepy mouse to a singing whale and a single ripe plum to a busy swarm of bees. Amongst other living things, there are also perspectives showing a mountainscape, a meandering river and potatoes growing underground. Each scene gently reminds us that while we read the book, the natural world continues to wake up, exist, swim, fly, grow, be hungry, float, sleep and ultimately, continues to be.
This is a beautiful, calming and mindful book. Each scene connects the reader to the vast, natural world and to living things that may seem far away or disconnected; like a mountain summit high in the sky or a shoal of a thousand fish under the sea. Ending with a sleeping baby bear, this book is perfect as a soothing bedtime story, reminding young readers to remain in the present while reflecting on and appreciating “this very moment”. --Paper Ren
'A calming read about living in the present & appreciating our natural world #atthisverymoment by @matthewthehorse prompts its reader to contemplate what might be happening somewhere else in the world using a meditative narrative. A perfect bedtime tale for a young audience'. --Book & Gift Blogger
'This gentle picture book, which is just as perfect for when a quiet moment is needed during the day as it is for a bedtime story, has a timeless quality to it. Artist and poet Hodson has an extensive client list ranging from Converse to Fortnum & Mason and as well as having won several awards and creating many successful exhibitions, teaches illustration at Leeds Arts University. Reminiscent of Robert Browning's Song from Pippa Passes (a verse drama which has far more complex themes than the innocent ones in this most famous of verses from the work), there is every sense of all being right with the world: we meet a mouse who, At this very moment… is waking up in the morning sun. There's a huge whale singing whale song, deep beneath the sea. And as you sit and read this book somewhere there's a swarm of bees. Rubbing pollen on their knees, there’s a swarm of bees. But not only are animals featured; so too is a mountain, quite deserted. There are potatoes too, underground growing in the dirt. And in readiness for the final page, As you sit and read this book there is singing in the jungle. Chirps and honks and knocks and hoots as the light fades low. We turn the page to see the sweetest of illustrations that depicts a mother bear with her cub and the words, And as you sit and read this book somewhere there's a baby. There are babies everywhere drifting off to sleep. A lullaby of a book that would be perfect for young children at bedtime or a good message to give young children around how to self-soothe'. --The Literacy Tree
'A moment in time captured in book form! A lovely calming book taking a glimpse into moments of time around the globe. This would make for a wonderful bedtime story as we slow down, get cosy and ponder over events of the day. As I always have my school assembly hat on, this would be fantastic to read aloud and have children realise and understand that events are happening all over the world at the moment they are listening to the story. Told with simplicity and styled with muted colours and a variety of landscapes, this is an enchanting story. A overriding message of being present in the moment and appreciating our world'. --My Shelves Are Full
'This simple yet captivating book presents pre-school readers with highly illustrated scenes of what is happening right now. From the perspective of a mouse, a whale, a mountain, a crocodile and even underground potatoes; a new world is opened up. A great book to share and talk about'. --School Reading List