Age Range: 8 - 14 years
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2011 Selection
Junior Library Guild Selection
What was everyday life like for these colossal cousins of modern elephants?
Mammoths and mastodons roamed the earth for more than a million years and then suddenly went extinct. What did they eat? How did they fit into their Ice Age landscape? Why did they disappear? These questions and more are answered in this fascinating book that presents the latest research, drawing on the recent discovery of a fully frozen baby mammoth—which has allowed scientists to learn more than they ever could have known just from studying bones. By studying the extinct creatures, researchers hope to discover ways to keep elephants from suffering the same fate. Profusely illustrated, Mammoths and Mastodons features photographs of archaeological digs, scientists at work in the field and in labs, archival relics, and specially commissioned artwork to bring these titans of the Ice Age to life. The book includes a bibliography, a glossary, and an index.
“...Readers come face to face with the hulking, fascinating prehistoric cousins of the modern-day elephant. Cheryl Bardoe begins her narrative in 2007, when two Siberian boys discover Lyuba, a frozen baby woolly mammoth that lived 40,000 years ago. Lyuba and other recent scientific breakthroughs animate this accessible study... Although the animals are long extinct, Bardoe makes clear their relevance, not least to the survival of today's African and Asian elephants, and offers up plenty of intriguing sidebars and illustrations. Readers will find out about the amazing capacities of trunks...and the unwise behavior of young male mammoths (a fair proportion of them have been found to be victims of slippery slopes)...Many scientists now believe that humans did the most to kill off the Columbian mammoth, each of which ate up to 500 pounds of food a day. Perhaps only a certain number of ravenous species can share the earth at a time.”
Carol's Corner, review for Cybils award nomination
“This book is everything I could hope for in a nonfiction book for children. First, it's engaging, from beginning to end...But what I love most about this book is that it traces the work of actual scientists. Cheryl Bardoe followed Dr. Daniel Fisher (world renowned mammoth expert and professor at the University of Michigan), Dr. Lawrence Agenbroad at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs in South Dakota, and Jacqueline Codron, a South African biologist and elephant expert, into their work sites in the field and into their laboratories...Each chapter in the book is based on a different aspect of their work as scientists...Bardoe continually demonstrates how the work of these scientists impacts our world today. Over and over again, she links mammoths and mastodons with their modern day elephant cousins.” Read full review
“...It tells the story of Lyuba, a baby wooly mammoth found in Siberia by two boys in 2007 that has revealed much new information on these extinct cousins of elephants. The true story of Lyuba leads to a thorough discussion of mammoths and mastodons, their habits and habitats. It also explains the various theories surrounding their extinction and provides a behind-the-scenes look at what paleontologists and archaeologists do and what they are discovering. Of special interest is the discussion of the human role in mammoth and mastodon extinction. While written for children, Mammoths and Mastodons is a highly intelligent account of an important scientific mystery that parents will also enjoy. The book is superbly illustrated with drawings and photographs, and a glossary of terms is particularly helpful. It would be a wonderful addition to the library of any curious youngster.”