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How Do You Lift a Lion?
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How Do You Lift a Lion?

(Wells of Knowledge Science)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Explore the functions of levers, wheels, and pulleys, and learn how to lift a lion, pull a panda, and deliver a basket of bananas to a baboon birthday party!
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Albert Whitman Company
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Publishers of nonfiction for children please note: a lot more people would read nonfiction if it was. . . better! Take a look at this book, that manages to convey complex ideas about simple machines in a highly imaginative way, but does not talk down to the reader. For sure the dense language and concepts take some unpacking with children, but the idea of lifting a lion or ten, or a panda on a pallet engages many for whom this content would otherwise remain abstract. In my Primary Years Program ...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This is probably my favorite of the four titles we've read from the Wells of Knowledge series. It is basically an introduction to physics, and covers some of the simple machines, as well as forces they interact with such as gravity and friction. The illustrations are amusing too -- at the end, the children use pulleys to deliver a "big basket of bananas to a baboon birthday party."
Tie Jones
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Explanation for my Pre K Class

My Children range from 3-4 years old and this book will help them to understand the basic functions of wheels and axels, pulleys, levers, and how simple machines are helpful. They can understand how simple machines make life easier.. Thanks for the delightful story
Vanessa Westen
This book is a fun book that teaches students about simple machines in a way they will understand.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic book to introduce children to the world of physics. How Do You Lift a Lion? answers the question of how to move heavy objects by introducing machines: pulleys, wheels, and levers and the concept of weight, motion, gravity, and force. The children will gain a basic idea of what physics is and how it works. Since the book relates the topic of physics to fun animals, the kids will get a more enjoyable read out of it. I mean, what kind of child doesn't like or isn't curious about ...more
Lauren Derosa
“How Do You Lift a Lion” by Robert E. Wells is a great book to teach young children about physics. I think it is a great idea to use animals to teach math like this because it is an element that children will always love and have in common with others. I think that this book does a very good job at introducing the basics for physics which can be very helpful to young children who haven’t yet heard of physics yet but are just getting an idea of what it is. This book does a great job of giving ...more
Another great question book from the wonderful Wells of Knowledge Science series by Robert Wells, and a nice companion read to What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah?. This book deals with the more complex scientific areas of gravity, levers and pulleys, but is still both diverting and entertaining.
My son and I read this book as a part of Sonlight's P4/5 curriculum. This is an excellent introduction to physics for preschoolers. My son greatly enjoyed all the animals in the book; it really helped keep him engaged in the subject matter. There is a lot of science terminology used in the explanations, which is wonderful. Even if my son doesn't remember all of it, I'm glad he is getting early exposure to the terms and concepts. Even I found the book to be informative and engaging, like all of ...more
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: younger-kids
This book explains machines with wonderful illustrations. The text was a little difficult for my six year old--words like "fulcrum".

First it shows a lion being lifted using a lever.
Second it shows a panda being pulled on a pallet using wheels. (Downhill allows you to go even faster.)
Third it shows lifting bananas into a tree to a baboon party using two pulleys.

I would love to know if this could really be accomplished by two kids!!!!
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
We've read this a few times over the years and pulled it out again for physics. This gives a very simple explanation of simple machines (levers, pulleys, wheels). The kids enjoyed the silly pictures and I thought the pictures did a good job illustrating the concept being discussed. The book works well for the younger grades but really needs some hands-on activities.

A good choice, but make sure to add on with experiments.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the PERFECT book for helping our 5 and 7 year old understand simple machines at a level they comprehend. we really enjoyed the silly animal pictures and situations used to describe levers, pulleys, and wheels. Of course, nothing replaces actually building and using a simple machine, but it definitely enhanced our homeschooling activities.
James Vickery
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is on a fourth grade level. It is in the fourth grade that students start to look into the make-up of a simple machine. This book helps the reader to understand the concept of force, motion, and weight in terms of simple machines. This book also does a good job by pointing out the direction in which the force travels.
Students will explore the functions of gravity, leverage, friction, and pulleys as they read. The theories of physics are introduced to young learners through the reader’s interest in animals. This is a clever book that keeps students questioning science. Such a cute book to keep the students engaged and listening.
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read this to my 5 year old to explain simple machines. The author does a great job at breaking down the parts of each simple machine (pulley, lever, wheel) and explaining how they work!
Lydia Smith
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: with-kids
Cute book to get kids thinking about basics of levers, wheels, and pulleys.
Min Huang
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book for explaining some simply physics to children. Educational but yet fun to read. Highly recommended.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, science
I like this book for the same reasons I have states I like the other Robert E. Wells books. It is just great.
Gina Starling
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ece3601, science
Grades 2-4

Introducing students to simple explanations of pulleys, levers, and,wheels, while the characters try to lift a panda and a lion.
A Reader
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a really good book how do you lift a loin was really funny and helped me learn about simple machines. Anonymous (7/12/2012)age8
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This series is an absolute favorite in our home. Robert Wells makes topics so understandable for kids and presents them in a fun way.
Easy to understand read for kids that introduces concepts such as gravity, friction, and simple machines (pulleys, wheels, levers).
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ebookwormy1 by: Sonlight P4/5
Simple machines, gravity and friction are covered in a fun style. Basic enough for preschoolers, yet informative enough for older children and adults to enjoy. A home school essential.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sonlight-p4-5
A gentle introduction to simple machines. Great and simple way to 'do' science with littles. My children love finding the mouse on each page and enjoy the illustrations.
Aug 17, 2016 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Megan by: Sonlight
Shelves: grade-00-pre-k
Kimberly Wright Oelkers
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simplifies simple machines with animal examples.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good intro to simple machines. We enjoyed this for my 4-year-old's preschool science lesson one day.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Homechool Curriculum
Shelves: science
Explains simple machines using colorful pictures and basic terms that young children can understand.
rated it liked it
Oct 11, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2019
Sarah Napientek johnson
rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2017
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About Robert Wells
Robert E. Wells is the author and illustrator of many intriguing and award-winning science books for children. He lives with his wife in Wenatchee, Washington.

Welcome Robert E. Wells’s books into your classroom, and you’ll find most of
your science curriculum covered. The twelve volumes – engaging and informative,
educational and inviting – provide second through fifth graders with

Other books in the series

Wells of Knowledge Science (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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  • Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?
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  • Can You Count to a Googol?
  • Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?
  • Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water?
  • What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah?
  • How Do You Know What Time It Is?
  • Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting?
  • What's Older Than a Giant Tortoise?