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*Mammoths on the Move* by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus

Mammoths on the Move
by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Ages 4-8 32 pages Harcourt April 2006 Hardcover    

The wooly mammoths are beginning their “treacherous trek south for the winter.” They’ll face the enormous obstacles nature throws in their way, everything of prehistoric proportions- raging rivers, ferocious storms and random predators along the way, regardless of the fact that the woolly mammoths are “massive…hairy… [and] legendary!”

Fourteen thousand years ago the world looked very different, great hairy mammals traversing the daunting snow-packed north in search of a better place to winter. Faced by colder days, they are forced to migrate to warmer climates, where food can be found to carry them through the season until they can return north again.

And so the trek begins, each beautiful illustrated page inspired by rhymed text:
“The mammoth’s route was fraught with danger-
melting ice, a hunting stranger.
Wooly calves soon learned to fear
A saber tooth, a human’s spear.”
The back flyleaf informs us that the illustrator, Kurt Cyrus, spent the winter working on this book with his studio heat turned way down, bundled in “warm, woolly sweaters.” The experiment paid off handsomely, his graphics stunning, the sense of cold creeping from page to icy page, the great beasts covered in snow, swimming across frigid rivers, their snorkel-trunks held high.

The scope of the undertaking is perfectly rendered in text and image in a wonderful pairing of author and artist, the result a fascinating book that will easily stimulate young minds with the grandeur of nature and the prehistoric creatures that inhabited the earth.

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  Luan Gaines/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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