When Mammoth awakens the world appears very different to him. Not only cannot he not find his herd, but there are strange creatures on the fields and in the air. When he travels toward the ‘great shining trees’ in the ‘huge, gleaming forest‘, he trumpets for his missing cousins and aunties. However, there is no reply. What’s more, it seems as though the forest is full of ‘funny smells and startling sounds’.

As Mammoth loses his confidence and sense of time and place, he alights upon an Ice Age exhibition. However, it only confuses him to such an extent that he’s left feeling as though he is ‘the only mammoth in the world‘. Where might he find a welcome, a response, warmth and invitation? Is there any sound in the world that he might understand, that he might follow that elicits kindness?

Mammoth can be read in so many ways. While there is the creature reawakened out of time and alone, we consider individual isolation, our individual need to have somebody to ‘trumpet with‘. What a beautiful, empathetic and aware picture book. Bookwagon loves Mammoth and recommends it to our readers.

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Big Beast- City- Trouble.

Anna Kemp and Adam Beer

(Simon & Schuster)

Mammoth awakens with ‘no idea how long he [has] been asleep‘. However, he is ‘very cold and very hungry‘. What’s more he’s perturbed by how different everything seems. For example, his herd is nowhere to be seen, but rather ‘giant, shiny beetles, crawling in circles and making a horrible din‘. Then again there are unfamiliar creatures in the fields and in the skies.
Thereafter our awakened hero moves on, trying to establish himself. He finds a ‘huge, gleaming forest‘ with ‘great, shining trees‘ in the distance. Although he trumpets for family, there is no response. It seems as though even the smells and sounds are new. Then again, he is able to find something to eat and somewhere to bathe. However, the strange beings all around him want nothing to do with him. Will this creature from another time find anywhere to call home?
Anna Kemp is able to build our sympathy in and awareness of this creature’s plight quickly. Furthermore, through her deft storytelling we realise the setting, the changes through history, rather as in Charlotte Guillain’s What Did the Tree See? Then again, new illustrator, Adam Beer, offers a wanderlust of travel, as in a sketchbook, from countryside and city steps, times past to  contemporary life, following sounds, movement and hope.
Mammoth is a sensational picture book with so much meaning and emotion. Bookwagon loves it and recommends it highly.



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