Books, Nature, Science/Math

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Just One Bite

Author: Lola Schaefer
Illustrator: Geoff Waring
Publication Info: Chronicle Books, 2010
Intended audience: Preschool and up
Genre: nonfiction, picture book (32 pages)
Themes/topics: nature, animals, science
Opening and synopsis: ”With just one scoop, a worm can eat… –> . this much dirt (and everything in it)!”
Schaefer and Warning reveal how much nectar a butterfly sips and how much bamboo an elephant bites. They rely upon simple sentences and vivid visuals to show how much 11 animals consume in only one bite. Backmatter includes more detailed discussions of 12 creatures and their eating habits. For example, reticulated giraffes use their sticky saliva to coat thorns making them easier to chew. Komodo dragons can eat up to five pounds of food every minute. That’s a lot of meat!
Resources/activities: This book is a great excuse for a trip to the zoo. Our zoo features komodo dragons; after reading about their insatiable appetites, I was ready to take a peek at them again. If you can’t make it to the zoo, check out National Geographic’s Kids site for more information about animals and their appetites. Finally, the National Science Teachers Association, which selected the book as an Outstanding Science Trade Book, recommends a scaling activity found….here.
Why I like this book: This book is a cross between two of my favorite Steve Jenkins books, Actual Size and Time to Eat. Children find animals fascinating, and this book spurs discussion about animals and their environments.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

31 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Just One Bite”

  1. Kirsten, a very cool book to teach kids about animals and their eating habits. Very creative. Yes, agree a trip to the zoo would be a good activity for this book. (I don’t like reptiles – ugh!) Thanks for sharing it today on PPB Friday. Great addition to our growing selection.

  2. This book sounds great, Kirsten! I love books that find a unique aspect of animal life and focus in and compare – kids (and adults!) can learn so much! I love that you find all these great non-fiction books to add to our list eery week! i don’t know about other people’s families, but my boys always loved non-fiction, so I love having so many great books to choose from on our list!

    1. We read a lot of nonfiction too. I come up with a lot of these book from research I’m doing on various topics. Sometimes I see them when I’m researching publishers. It’s fun to find such gems.

  3. I want to read this book. It sounds like it explains animals eating habits in a way that children can understand. I was surprised to read that a Komodo Dragon can eat 5 lbs. of meat in a minute. When I worked at a zoo, the keepers would lure the Komodo Dragon off exhibit at night with mice (dead ones!). They would used this long, extendable pole with a mouse on the end. Once the Komodo would see the mouse, they would drop it on the ground near the exhibit door. Then, they would have another mouse ready on the pole just inside the door that would help get the Komodo into her holding area. I will never forget watching that — it was fascinating.

  4. Hi Kirsten,
    Great choice…love books about animals…and so do kids. 🙂 My children always looked forward to trips to the zoo or aquarium…I recently went to a butterfly pavillion…what an amazing experience. I know there are liability issues…but school classes should do outings to places like these more often…so much is learned with hands-on experiences. 🙂

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