by Lola M. Schaefer
Christopher Silas Neal, illustrator
In one LIFETIME,
a caribou will shed
10 sets o antlers,
a woodpecker will drill
30 roosting holes,
a giraffe will wear
a seahorse will birth
Count each one and many more as you learn about the fascinating things that can happen in just one lifetime.
Opening: Lifetime shows how many times one particular animal performs one behavior, or grows one feature, in a lifetime.
About the Book: Lifetime is about animals common in our world and their interesting traits. As a group, we are mostly unaware of most of these interesting facts that are of extreme importance to the animal. Lifetime is a mix of biology, zoology, sociology, and math. Yes, math. To determine these numbers the author needed to use math, and in the back of the book she gives you the simplified equation used for each animal.
What I Thought: I found Lifetime to be an interesting and unusual animal book. I had no idea any of these numbers existed. I know that the cross spider lays an egg with hundreds of babies inside ready to crawl out (thank you Furry and Flo). I did not know that the mother spider, as with the queen bee, dies shortly after laying her egg. This means she only lays one egg in her lifetime.
I like the back pages that explain a little more about the animals, but also details how each number was calculated. Kids will see real world examples of why math is important and that they will use math in their daily lives. In addition (no pun intended), to addition, subtraction, and division, rounding up and down numbers is also part of some equations. All of the numbers are averages, another math term, and another equation. How wonderful is this? A nonfiction picture book, with an interesting subject most of us are interested in,—animals—and math equations with real world examples.
The illustrations have a bit of their own uniqueness, and to verify this you will again need math. Not to worry, for this simple addition in the form of counting. In the illustration, it can be as simple as counting the cross spider’s one egg or as intense as counting the giraffe’s 200 spots. Whatever the lifetime number, the illustrator depicted this same amount, or number, of lifetime activity. Considering the seahorse gives birth to 1,000 babies in a lifetime, there is a lot of intricate art to count, all mixed media and beautifully rendered.
Here are a few more numbers I came across. To write this picture book, Ms. Schaefer’s research led her to several experts, including 3 zoos, 1 university, 2 animal farms, and 1 research facility. Now we add that up, 3+1+2+1 = 7. Only seven? How many am I missing? Excuse me; I need to read the part about subtraction again.
Released October 1, 2013
Ages 4 to 8
© 2013 by Chronicle Books, used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by Lola M. Schaefer
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Christopher Silas Neal
- Review: Lifetime by Lola M. Schaefer (wakingbraincells.com)
- A numbers book for kids who like animals. Or an animal book for kids who like numbers. (coolmompicks.com)