Mammoths on the Move

Overview

Join a pack of woolly mammoths as they trek south for the winter, braving fierce storms, deadly predators, and raging rivers while making their slow journey across the gorgeous unspoiled lands of this continent until finally they reach their goal.

With the same jouncy and joyous rhythms of her youngest picture book texts, Lisa Wheeler introduces readers to one of the most awesome beasts to ever walk the earth:...

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Overview

Join a pack of woolly mammoths as they trek south for the winter, braving fierce storms, deadly predators, and raging rivers while making their slow journey across the gorgeous unspoiled lands of this continent until finally they reach their goal.

With the same jouncy and joyous rhythms of her youngest picture book texts, Lisa Wheeler introduces readers to one of the most awesome beasts to ever walk the earth: the massive, hairy—legendary—wonderful woolly mammoth!

This factually based book includes an author's note.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
*"Young audiences will be riveted by this compelling introduction, and rightly tempted to echo the awed refrain: ''Big and bulky, / huge and hulky, / wide and woolly mammoths!''"
Children's Literature
The huge prehistoric beasts are introduced in jaunty rhymed couplets as "Fuzzy, shaggy, snarly, snaggy, wonderful woolly mammoths!" Verses with refrains detail the lives and habits of the mammoths as they move south for the winter, having "packed their trunks." As mothers protect their young, they move across the steppes and rivers, past storms and predators, to the snow-free south. Then in the spring they start north again. Cyrus's vigorous black line scratchboard, double-page scenes are tinted with watercolor washes that mostly chill us. But the artist's depictions of the lacy bare branches of the landscape's trees and the curly twists of the mammoths' hairy coats are visually striking. Cyrus creates a sequence of esthetic variations as the animals march onward, changing perspective while focusing on bits of action to maintain our interest. The verses become captions for the visual dramas. A note from the author adds additional information about mammoths. 2006, Harcourt, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Buoyant language and vivid artwork depict the excitement of the migration of "Massive, hairy,/legendary" woolly mammoths. The words flow smoothly, providing interesting bits of information about the animals within the rhymed framework: "Come colder days, those mammoth herds/migrated south, just like the birds." Occasional humorous phrases ("so mammoths packed their trunks and moved") add a lighthearted touch without detracting from the progression of the journey. Short refrains ("Big and bulky,/huge and hulky,/wide and woolly mammoths!") break up the rhythm neatly and are especially lively when read aloud. Scratchboard-and-watercolor illustrations capture the creatures' majesty and the beautiful landscape of their trek. Thick black lines and stark whites are balanced by the luminous colors of sky, water, and snow. The composition of the spreads is varied to strong effect. A dramatic scene shows two grown males clashing, for example, while a page turn reveals a much less imposing pair of calves play fighting. Other visual highlights depict the prehistoric beasts swimming with "snorkel-trunks up high," plodding past the bones of less-fortunate travelers, and finally emerging into green fields as "They reached the south by winter's end.../then started heading north again!" This successful mixture of rhyme, facts, and illustration, applied to a fascinating subject, will make this picture book a popular choice.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With mountainous dignity, mammoths lumber across wide prehistoric landscapes as Wheeler traces their ancient annual round in verse: "Come colder days, those mammoth herds / migrated south, just like the birds. / Their menu had to be improved, / so mammoths packed their trunks and moved." Limning heavy tusks and each shaggy lock in strong lines and rich golden hues, Cyrus views the page-filling pachyderms from low angles, capturing a sense of their massive presence as they loom over small trees, plod through snow storms, gather in a defensive circle at the sight of a saber-toothed tiger and paddle, trunks up across deep water. (Wheeler notes at the outset that scientists extrapolate mammoth behavior from watching modern elephants.) Young audiences will be riveted by this compelling introduction, and rightly tempted to echo the awed refrain: "Big and bulky, / huge and hulky, / wide and woolly mammoths!" (Picture book nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152047009
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 698,663
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

LISA WHEELER is the author of several award-winning picture books, including Sixteen Cows, One Dark Night, and Mammoths On the Move, which recently received a Parent's Choice Recommended Award. She lives near Detroit, Michigan. www.lisawheelerbooks.com

KURT CYRUS is the illustrator of M. T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts, and The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen. He lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

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