By the numbers

 

What did you do on your first day– the day you were born?

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Steve Jenkins & Robin Page answer this question in their children’s book My First Day by describing what happens to animals after they are born. Readers will see that the beginning of animal life is dramatically varied among the twenty-two types highlighted and lovingly illustrated here using paper collage techniques. 

  •  A one ounce baby wood duck falls from high up in a tree following its mother and siblings to water. But it’s not the only animal to take a great fall. A giraffe tucks its head and falls about 5 feet to the ground at birth. But don’t worry, neither are injured.
  • Some animals are more sedentary like the 2 pound Siberian Tiger cub, which like human babies do little more than sleep and nurse their first few days.
  • Darwin’s frog hops from a pouch inside its father’s mouth having undergone the transformation from egg to tadpole to frog safe from predators.

Unlike humans, animal parents don’t have the opportunity to go out and buy a Baby Bjorn so they have different ways of carrying their babies and keeping them protected. Another way baby animals stay safe is to hitch a ride on its mama’s back. The sifaka, a type of lemur and the golden snub-nosed monkey both cling to their mother’s fur when they are on the go.

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 Another 2013 work of high-interest nonfiction that features animals is Lola M. Schaefer’s LIFETIME The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives. The author makes estimates based on the average adult life span of animals & insects in the wild. Selected facts are stand-alone conversation starters so illustrator Christopher Silas Neal’s mix of drawing, painting, print making and digital art make this a memorable read.

Lifetime is packed with interesting tidbits. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • An alligator will build 22 nest and lay 550 eggs
  • A male seahorse will carry and birth 1,000 baby seahorses
  • Caribou will grow and shed 10 sets of antlers

 

 

 

 

What your dog should expect when you’re expecting

This book has been passed around among the Children’s Librarians here for awhile and when it finally got to me,  I found out I really needed it.

Pushkin Meets the Bundle by Harriet Ziefert

Pushkin Meets the Bundle by Harriet Ziefert

It begins with Pushkin a happy dog who loves the man and woman he lives with. Everyday his owners go to work, but in the evenings they listen to music together, go on walks, learn tricks. All is well until one day they don’t return home.  When they do return they bring with them a bundle and everything changes for Pushkin.

Kate stays home. She pats the baby, but she doesn’t pat me. She plays with the baby, but she doesn’t play with me.            She kisses the baby but doesn’t kiss me.

My Schnauzer Sam(sara) is such a loving dog, but he’s also jealous. I’m going to have to read him this every night until I bring home my own bundle. (Or perhaps birth my own bundle at home).