How Emma Stopped the World by Gene and Iris Rotberg

How Emma Stopped the World by Gene and Iris Rotberg
Click the link to purchase your copy of How Emma Stopped The World from

Author: Gene Rotberg, Iris Rotberg
Illustrator: Macarena Vejar
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Copyright Date: 2009
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Foundational Characters: Emma, Emma’s Grandmother
Standard Rating: YC, C
Reviewer Rating: 2 Stars
Available Formats: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439255741
ISBN-13: 978-1439255742
Book Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 0.2 inches
Page Count: 36
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Children’s, Picturebook, World, Influence, Globalization, Markets
Tags: Fiction, Children’s, Picturebook, World, Influence, Globalization, Markets


This illustrated children’s book is a parable about how small events can trigger chain reactions around the world. It is a story about our globalized world and how people and events are linked together. The story centers around a six-year-old named Emma, who caused the world to come to a grinding halt. Business, trade, and work all stopped because of a seemingly minor event. This is a story for children, but its basic theme—how we are all linked together—is a universal one. (From the publisher’s website)

The Revelation

The world-wide community gets smaller and smaller every day. As globalization grows and extends its reach across each and every continent, citizens of every nation become increasingly dependent on one another. When a small cog in the global market machine fails, the consequences can be immediate, extensive, and detrimental. This is the point of the story told in How Emma Stopped the World.

Emma and her grandmother are driving on the interstate when Emma discovers that she has lost her blanket. Any parent knows exactly how devastating this can be to a child, and in order to prevent World War III from entering their home, any parent, or grandparent, will stop everything to console their child and make them happy-even if that means stopping in the middle of the freeway and halting the flow of global traffic and commerce.

Because all of the traffic behind Emma’s grandmother’s car had stopped, a global chain reaction began. Goods could not move in and out of our ports. Because of this, cargo ships had to line up in the water across the world, waiting their turn to load and unload their cargo. Since no goods could be brought into or taken out of the country, stores and factories all over the world had to close. If Emma could find her blanket, everything would go back to normal.

This is a cute story. As a kind of economic parable, it speaks to how sensitive the markets of the world are to seemingly small occurrences.

As cute as the story is though, there are many problems with the writing. Apparently, the Rotbergs did not hire an editor before sending the document off for publication. However, the illustrations are magnificent! As it is, the text reads horribly and looks extremely unprofessional. If the text had been edited, this would be a perfect little book.


This story is appropriate for children of all ages.

Click the link to purchase your copy of How Emma Stopped The World from

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