Publisher: Conditionbrand: Frances Lincoln Children's Booksmanufacturer: Frances Lincoln Children's BooksHardcover BookMick Manning (Author)
Genre: Information Picture Book
Age Range: 5-8 Infant/Junior
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It is the sheer variety of ways of communicating all manner of interesting information that is such a strong feature of this book. The lyrical end pages give young learners the big picture: they see that even huge woolly mammoths were dwarfed by the Ice-Age landscape and would struggle to survive in harsh conditions. Then a jolly rhyming text runs through the book, extended by large, exciting and often atmospheric pictures. So quite young children can enjoy learning about the creatures. More conventionally delivered information is placed down the side of the double spreads to challenge the over sevens. But it does not just provide interesting facts. It also shows children how scientists, like Professor Adrian Lister from the National History Museum who checked this book, go about their work Where there is fossil evidence we can be fairly sure about things like an extinct creatures’ size, structure and diet and where they lived. So we know that the woolly mammoths were large animals with tusks and shaggy coats that lived during the Ice-Age in Britain, Europe and North America. But how do we know about their way of dealing with predators and their social organization? This book makes it clear that our understanding of these things is provisional. Based upon our understanding of the behaviour of other large mammals, the writers speculate that woolly mammoths formed defensive circles when they or their young were threatened by other animals. This speculative tone continues with the thought that ‘perhaps cave paintings were a way of asking the animal spirits to give good hunting’.