cover image Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives

Lola M. Schaefer, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. Chronicle, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0714-1

Schaefer (One Special Day) and Neal (Over and Under the Snow) use traits and developmental milestones of 11 species as a way to take full measure of animal lives, and the result is as intriguing as it is gorgeous. Readers visit a silvery forest, where “In one lifetime, this woodpecker”—a handsome fellow with a bright red crest, seen simultaneously perched on trees and peering out of holes—“will drill 30 roosting holes in the woods. Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat!” Did Neal really draw 900 flowers in meadow (the number a swallowtail butterfly visits during a lifespan) or 1,000 “teeny-weeny, squiggly-wiggly” seahorse babies (the number a male seahorse carries and births)? It looks like he probably did. But those who would rather trust than verify won’t miss out—the stylized nature vignettes, rendered in the flat, vivid colors of poster art, offer rewards to both close, numbers-minded readers and those who simply want to savor the wonder of it all. Back matter includes information on each species as well as how to compute averages and solve story problems. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Oct.)