Tough Beginnings: How Baby Animals Survive

Overview

An entertaining and informative look at the tough beginnings some baby animals must face in their first moments of life.

"It's tough to begin on the beaches,it's tough to begin in the seas,it's hard to hang on to your mother,it's hard to jump out of the trees . . ."

When human babies are born, their parents care for them until they're old enough to live on their own. Other babies have to grow up a whole lot ...

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Overview

An entertaining and informative look at the tough beginnings some baby animals must face in their first moments of life.

"It's tough to begin on the beaches,it's tough to begin in the seas,it's hard to hang on to your mother,it's hard to jump out of the trees . . ."

When human babies are born, their parents care for them until they're old enough to live on their own. Other babies have to grow up a whole lot faster.

A baby giraffe must stand within an hour of being born, or its mother will abandon it. A baby sea turtle needs to race from the sand to the safety of the sea moments after it hatches. These are just a few of the amazing survival stories you'll find in this book.

So if you ever thought baby animals had it easy, step into their world and take a look at some really tough beginnings.

Presents information about some of the difficulties faced by different baby animals as they grow to adulthood.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Not all animals have it as easy as humans. Early life can be a real challenge, one that many baby animals can't survive. In this large-size picture book, Marilyn Singer explains these challenges in simple terms. For example, only one in one hundred sea turtles make it to adulthood because of predators, human interference and environmental problems. Readers will also learn that baby whales nurse about forty times a day for a few seconds each time. On the other hand, wood ducks are left alone from the start; within 24 hours of hatching, they leave their nests in tree holes and jump to the ground to find a nearby pond. These and other fascinating facts are accompanied by large, colorful watercolor illustrations of the animals. A final section compares the experience of human babies with the animal babies in the book. Singer has created an interesting piece of nonfiction that will appeal to young readers. Because there is no glossary to explain the difficult words, this is best suited to the read-aloud format so that explanations can be provided as necessary. 2001, Henry Holt, $16.95. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Carol Lynch
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Thirteen spreads each discuss a particular hazard to a specific animal baby. Wood ducklings leave their nests when they are just one day old, sometimes dropping 60 feet to the ground. Spadefoot toads are laid in quickly drying desert puddles and must metamorphose rapidly, occasionally nourished by eating their dying siblings. Each spread contains a text box of detailed information about one species, complemented by a large, clear appealing watercolor at times verging on cute (particularly the smiling mother opossum on the cover). Read in succession, the first large-print line of each page creates a lilting rhyme about the difficulty of surviving as an animal baby. A final spread tells about 10 more species. This title could work as a read-aloud, in a science unit on adaptation, or be enjoyed by young animal lovers.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
All sorts of baby animals have tough beginnings, whether they are tiny sea turtles scrambling to reach the ocean before they are eaten, cicadas emerging from a 17-year sleep, or penguin chicks surviving in the minus-70-degree temperatures of Antarctica. Singer (Fred's Bed, p. 593, etc.) gives interesting details about a dozen diverse animals from around the world, including opossums, whales, wood ducks, fruit bats, desert spadefoot toads, and kangaroos. The newly hatched Komodo dragon lizard may face the biggest challenge. Papa is a large lizard that eats anything that moves, including his own young. Says Singer in one of her opening captions: "It's not easy when Dad wants to eat you . . ." Each animal is presented in a double-paged spread with a full-color painting capturing both the habitat and the animal described. Especially successful are the plates showing the desert spadefoot toad from egg to adult and the cicada nymph buried under the roots of a tree and also emerging as an adult. Last to be introduced is the human baby. Though Singer writes: "Compared with many other babies, we humans have it easy." She gives brief facts about more animal babies, a note urging conservation, and, on the back cover, connects all the animals introduced with a poem which begins: "It's tough to begin on the beaches, / It's tough to begin in the seas. / It's tough to hang on to your mother, / It's hard to jump out of trees." The picture-book format, handsome paintings, and fascinating choice of facts presented make this an engaging and useful science nature title for younger children. (Nonfiction. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805061642
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.38 (w) x 10.44 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Singer

Marilyn Singer is the author of many children's books, several of which explore animal behavior, such as A Wasp Is Not a Bee, Bottoms Up!, and Prairie Dogs Kiss and Lobsters Wave, which was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband.

Anna Vojtech has illustrated The Son of the Sun and the Daughter of the Moon, as well as other books for young readers. A native of Prague, Anna lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her family.

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