Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Mammoths on the Move

Mammoths on the Move

Spring 2006 Non-Fiction
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: Kurt Cyrus
ISBN: 015204700X
Hardcover Price: $16.00
In a highly cinematic opening, the striking scratchboard illustrations that accompany the text of this ode to the behemoths of yesteryear begin with gigantic footprints in snow (their scale dramatized by the presence of a rabbit), pull back to an eye-level view of four hairy feet (the rabbit hops between them), further back to include a massive tusked head, and then still further back to reveal a landscape filled with giant shaggy creatures. The rhyming text—which at first seems an odd choice for the ponderous subject matter—scans beautifully and youngsters, enchanted by the topic, will no doubt be tempted to join right in: “Big and bulky / huge and hulky / wide and woolly mammoths!” An author's note at the outset points out that we know very little about the actual lives of the mammoths and that the information, while accurate, is based on scientific knowledge extrapolated from their modern day descendents, the elephants.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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