Monday, August 5, 2013

Lifetime: the Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Chirstopher Silas Neal

Have you ever wonder about how many spots a giraffe has or how many Joey's a red kangaroo will give birth to in their lifetime?  Well, if you have, look no more.   Veteran author Lisa M. Schaefer has written another informative book for kids that is not your traditional counting book.  Instead, it takes different behaviors or features of 11 different wild animals and averages how many times it happens in the course of each animal's lifetime.

So, Schaefer writes that the average giraffe will wear 200 spots on its body, 100 on each side in its lifetime.  And the average red kangaroo will give birth to 50 joeys in her lifetime.  How did Schaefer come up with her amounts?  She explains right from the start that she based her "estimations on the average adult life span of each wild animal that lives to maturity and the recorded and observational information about it's behaviors or physical features."

So, Lifetime is both a counting book and a book that teaches kids about averages.  Each two page spread features one animal and the average number of times something happens in its lifetime.  Then the reader can count each occurrence, which is cleverly included in the illustration.  For example, on average, a caribou grows antlers 10 times in its lifetime.  Can you find and count all ten antlers?

You can click this to enlarge it for counting
At the back of the book, there is more information about each animal, including their average life span and that math used to derive the average number of times something happens.  And because Lifetime is also about averages, there is an excellent explanation of what an average is and how to find it.

Kids will like the counting and the information about each animal, but they will also enjoy the lovely earth-toned mixed media illustrations befitting all these animals in their wild habitat.

There are lots of good counting books available for kids, but this is one that takes counting a little further by teaching kids about averages as well, making it a very appealing for kids, especially those  interested in math and/or nature.

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was provided by the publisher.

This book will be available September 24, 2013

Nonfiction Monday is hosted this week by Shelf-Employed

This is book 8 of my 2013 Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. Connecting counting to the real world! Nice! We will be looking out for this one! thanks for sharing the review.

  2. I like the illustrations, and it seems as if you could use it with older children as well. Thanks for participating in today's Nonfiction Monday roundup.

  3. Definitely have to get this one for my classroom. It sounds so unique and I like that it ties into the real world and averages. Awesome! Thanks for sharing!


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