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Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives Hardcover – September 24, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 4-This addition to animal counting books mixes in science and mathematical processing to share numbers from behaviors or events occurring over an animal's lifetime. The count begins with the single egg sac a cross spider produces in its lifetime. The count continues with 10 sets of antlers a caribou grows, then 20 fleeces for a llama, and up to 50 before it skips to 100, 200, 550, 900 and 1,000. Each spread highlights a different insect, animal, or plant. The main text is minimal and suitable for storytime while the back is appropriate for older readers, providing background information on each animal and an explanation of how the numbers were derived. Additional pages explain how an average is calculated and the author's love of math. The illustrations are stylized, using high contrast to ease counting and improve legibility, although numbers beyond 200 will require very determined numerists. This book will be useful for units on integrating literature into math instruction.-Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Schaefer combines her interest in animals and her fascination with numbers, using sparse text to introduce both animals and a numerical fact about a specific characteristic of each animal. An introduction provides the caveat that approximations differ depending on many factors in the life of the animal. The text is matter-of-fact, and the colors of the mixed-media illustrations subdued, but they complement each other in tone. It takes a bit to realize that Neal’s illustration for each animal matches the number Schaefer uses in the text. For instance, the illustration for sea horses has 1,000 “teeny-weeny, squiggly-wiggly baby sea horses.” (Feel up to counting all of them?) Thankfully, as part of the back matter, Schaefer adds detailed information about each animal and its life span, how she calculated the estimations she uses throughout the book, two animal math problems to solve, and more. Fills a clever niche for both animal science and mathematics. Preschool-Grade 2. --J. B. Petty
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452107149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452107141
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The little cross spider was hiding in the shadow of the garden leaves. She had spun her "papery egg sac," the only one she would spin in her lifetime. Can you imagine, only one? On the other hand, the large mountain caribou "will grow and shed 10 sets of antlers" his lifetime. There are many different numbers in the lifetime of animals in the wild and in captivity. Take for example the "alpaca will grow 20 different fleeces." You can see all the piles of fleece on the barn floor as the farmer whizzes and whirs his handpiece across the body of the alpaca. Buzzzz!

Pileated woodpeckers "rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat" their way through the woods as they drill an amazing "30 roosting holes in the woods." The trees are marked with all kinds of holes they call their home. Can you find the woodpecker sticking his head out taking a peek at the forest around him? The rattlesnakes rattle their way through the grasses, the kangaroo watches over her little joeys as they hop in front of her throughout her lifetime, and you can take a look at the bottlenose dolphin who has an amazing "100 teeth to grab food from the sea." There are so many interesting numbers you will be able to see in the lifetimes of animals around you!

This is a fascinating look at animal "numbers" children will love to explore. Set up in picture book format, this beginning nonfiction book will appeal to nonreaders to the confident ones. The artwork, rendered in mixed media, will appeal to young readers, who will be counting everything from the rattlesnakes beads to the alligator's eggs. In the back of the book there are discussions of the animals in the book which includes information about their scientific name, habitat, average life span, etc.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I met Lola Schaefer for the first time at a writers conference and got the chance to hear her read this book and talk about the work that went into writing and researching it. I found it fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed the story and the facts. (I had no idea that joeys could have so many babes at one time.) The illustrations are fresh and lively, and surprisingly NOT boring, which was probably tough to do as on the last page the artist had to draw 1000 objects. (Some children will count those too--just to make sure they're all included.)

This is a fun book that will teach both children and parents.

Well done!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think that this is a wonderful book. I am a scientist and I learned a lot from reading this book to my kids! They love it, the illustrations are neat and they like to count the things done during the lifetime of the different animals. It is really a book that both my kids and I truly enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was purchased for small children in my life. They love stories about animals. This book features unusual facts about an unusual array of creatures, each fact involves numbers. The illustrations are fabulous, the learning opportunities are factual and fun!
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Format: Hardcover
Recommended read aloud for PreK-1st Grade – Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals Lives - reveals the power of numbers to make us go “oooh” and “aaah.” This book was named an Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2014 by the National Science Teachers Association. The author focuses on “how many times one particular animal performs one behavior or grows one feature in a lifetime” (Schaefer, 2013). Love the first page where she explains how she came up with the numbers through research and estimation – while this might not be easy to read aloud to the youngest students, it’s important because Schaefer establishes authority and credibility.

Each two-page spread focuses on one animal and one number. For example – “In one lifetime, this spider will spin 1 papery egg sac” and “In one lifetime, this female red kangaroo will birth 50 joeys.” The one egg sac and the 50 joeys are part of their respective two-page illustrations – students can revel in the difference between 1 and 50, flipping back and forth between pages. (She counts 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 200 and then jumps forward inconsistently with larger numbers from there.) Important move – the numbers are written as numerals and stand out in bold print. What I didn’t like was that on some of the spreads, there was a little almost “attached” sentence – like on the spider page, “Fragile! Don’t touch!” and on the kangaroo page, “So many hoppy birthdays!” And there’s not an extra sentence on some of the pages. I couldn’t make heads or tails of how Schaefer decided what to write for those extra sentences. It’s almost a distraction – wandering away from the focus of the book. I’d be tempted to skip those sentences when reading aloud – unless you can figure out what she’s after and make sense of it for the students.
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Format: Hardcover
Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives is a picture book for kids that combines math and nature in a way that's fun.

Written by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Lifetime asks questions such as: How many eggs will a spider lay in its lifetime? How many antlers will a caribou shed? How many roosting holes will a woodpecker drill? The answers (1, 10 and 30 respectively) are fun to think about and talk about as they relate to the animal, its habits and its lifespan. The warm, muted colors of the illustrations are comfortable and soothing. Also, because the illustrations show the number cited (even 1,000 baby seahorses one male will carry!), it's easier for children to get the concept and they can count up on their own.

Other animal numbers include teeth on a bottlenose dolphin, spots on a giraffe, eggs layed by an alligator, flowers visited by a monarch butterfly and more. The back of the book features more information about each creature highlighted in the book, as well as an explanation for how the numbers were determined. For instance, to determine the number of fleeces in an alpaca's lifetime the author calculated 20 years for an average lifetime times one fleece per year to get 20 fleeces in a lifetime. There's also an explanation for how to get an average of something, and two puzzles left unsolved that parents can work on with their kids.

Young children are often attracted to facts about animals and nature, and Lifetime is a great way to work in a little math while they read. It's sure to be a hit with kids and parents.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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