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Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)) Hardcover – March 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–7—Mammoths tend to get a lot of press, while their mastodon cousins accumulate footnotes, so it's nice to see mastodon getting second-banana billing in this attractive look at Ice Age favorites. Bardoe begins with the discovery of a marvelously preserved infant mammoth in Northern Siberia and goes on to discuss anatomy (comparing mastodon tusks and teeth, for example) and to postulate on probable Proboscidan behaviors based on fossil finds and extrapolation of modern elephant lifestyles. The readable text includes two fictional scenarios for fossils being found where they were (e.g., a young bull trapped in a steeper-than-expected water hole) and is nicely larded with interesting information boxes on such topics as "Treasures from the Permafrost." Excellent color photos and competent artwork lend visual interest, as does a Proboscidan "family tree" and a pair of maps (one of which, on Ice Age boundaries, may prove a tad confusing due to overlaps). Team this with Sandra Markle's dramatic Outside and Inside Woolly Mammoths (Walker, 2007) or Windsor Charlton's investigation of the Jarkov mammoth in Woolly Mammoth: Life, Death, and Rediscovery (Scholastic, 2001) for a grand view of an Ice Age icon. Eye-catching and informative.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This well-designed book opens with two boys finding a strange animal dead on the arctic tundra. Their father hikes four days to a village where the news can be spread; then scientists take away the frozen baby mammoth, the first example found intact, and study it intensively. The book intersperses accounts of the scientists’ research and deductions with general information about mammoths and mastodons as well as imagined scenes taking place when they walked the earth. Bardoe draws connections between these Ice Age proboscideans and their modern cousin, the elephant. Back matter includes a glossary and a brief “Select References” section listing three scientists interviewed by the author and three books on mammoths, two of them for children. The book’s large format and heavy paper show off the color illustrations well. Besides maps and charts, there are many photos of scientists at work and artists’ depictions of mammoths, from today’s paintings to prehistoric cave drawings. A handsome introduction. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1080L (What's this?)
  • Series: Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081098413X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984134
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From the first sentence I was drawn into this fascinating account of the discovery of a well-preserved baby wooly mammoth, and the history of mammoths and their relatives. The author nicely relates this back to crucial questions for today, such as how do we help preserve the elephant population? The writing is spot-on for the audience: not too technical, but well researched and scientific. I especially liked how she handled animal death in a sensitive way. Plenty of photos, illustrations, maps and interviews with scientists keep everything clear and moving along. Great job! I would have no problem suggesting this for a school report, or as a gift to a budding scientist or animal lover.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mollyo-o on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the amazing true story of the discovery of a millennium which begins with two brothers named Kostia and Edik, members of the Nenet's, a nomadic people from northern Siberia. Kostia and Edik were out with their reindeer collecting firewood one day in May of 2007, when they stumbled across the body of a fully preserved, frozen baby wooly mammoth, lying in the ice by a river bank north of the Arctic Circle. While their father, Yuri, worried that it might be a creature from the underworld, he also knew of the value of its ivory husks, and was aware of the importance such findings had had in the past to scientists; so he hiked 73 miles to tell the world of the discovery. Scientists from all over the globe soon flocked to see the creature who became known as Baby Lyuba. Artifacts, fossils and pieces of mammoths had been found in the past, but never before a fully preserved animal complete with hair, teeth, taste buds, eyeballs, and even skin wrinkles! It turned out that Baby Lyuba had died at least 40,000 years ago. Before this discovery, scientists could only speculate about the woolly mammoths, but now they had the evidence right in their hands, and could use all the technology available to modern science to study the animal. The discovery of Baby Lyuba also gave some further insight into the factors that may have led to the eventual extinction of these once plentiful creatures. Scientists hope that the knowledge they gain in studying the wooly mammoth will help save its close relative, the elephant, from meeting a similar fate.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elaybee on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Mammoths and Mastodons Titans of the Ice Age, is about all of the research that has been conducted and discoveries that have been made after the retrieval of the 40,000 year old fully frozen baby wooly mammoth. I could not get over how interesting the story of how the baby mammoth was first spotted. This story behind this is a lot different then what I expected. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be walking around and randomly stumbling upon that! This book has excellent photographs from real life fossil digs so that children can get a realistic glimpse into the world of paleontology. My favorite thing about this book is that it is written in an upbeat and fun way to get children engaged! I can definitely say that I left this book with a lot more knowledge than I had coming into it which is always a wonderful thing! Overall, it was a very eye-opening book about the beautiful and mysterious masters of the Ice Age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS begins with the exciting discovery in 2007 of a complete and fully preserved frozen baby wooly mammoth found by a group of nomads in Siberia, Russia. The fossilized baby mammoth was named Lyuba. From the discovery of this specimen, scientists have learned a great deal about how mammoths lived. In unraveling the mysteries of the mammoths and mastodons, scientists hope to find ways of saving and preserving elephants which are the last of the great order of the proboscidea. The book examines what we've learned through examining the tusks of mammoths and mastodons (for instance, you can tell how old a mammoth was by looking at the number of rings in its tusks), how mammoths and mastodons lived, possible causes of their extinction, and what is being done to save elephants from extinction. The book is filled with vivid, colorful, and well-designed charts, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations. MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS: TITANS OF THE ICE AGE is a great children's science book that not only youngsters with an interest in science will enjoy, but one that adults will, too.
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Format: Hardcover
So well written. Easily accessible to fluent readers--savvy 3rd grade through 6th grade students. Bardoe's writing is cohesive--the reader can follow where she's going and how she's developing main/central ideas. Also, this is not just a book about mammoths and mastodons - two of the main/central ideas are that scientists use fossil evidence as well as current observations of distant relatives to the mammoths and mastodons to create a picture of their behaviors and habits and this information could be vital in sustaining the livelihood of their distant cousin, the elephant. Also, there are many players in this endeavor - different kinds of scientists, different institutions and everyday people like the young boy who discovered a baby woolly mammoth in the ice/snow in the Arctic circle in the far northern region of the Russian Federation.

Bardoe is aware of her audience developmentally. For example, she starts the book with the anecdote about the young boy and his brother discovering a "mysterious creature" and going home to tell their dad. She titles one chapter "The Mammoth Name Game" and has a little quiz to start. She has another chapter "Piecing Together Mammoth Reality" that is a series of "episodes" where she asks the reader to imagine themselves with a film camera ready to create a documentary and then takes them back to a probable scene in the prehistoric life of a mammoth. None of this gets in the way of the hard content, though.

Photos, maps, and features are well chosen - supporting and extending the text.

Just a really well written book. I decided to read this after reading "Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle" which is also fabulously written.
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Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))
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