Reviews for Mammoths and Mastodons : Titans of the Ice Age

Booklist Reviews 2010 March #2
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.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Drawing on scientific examinations of bones and preserved specimens and comparisons to modern elephants, Bardoe presents these extinct mammals' physical and behavioral characteristics, habitats, and possible interactions with humans. Photographs of scientists at work and speculative artistic renderings of the animals provide historical and scientific context. Bib., glos., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 January #1
Based on published research and interviews with working scientists, Bardoe presents a lively and engrossing case study in how paleontologists examine both ancient and modern clues for insights into the diets, physical development and behavior of extinct animals. Cousins to modern elephants, mammoths and mastodons once roamed large portions of the Earth, but for reasons that are not completely understood (climate change? predation by early humans? disease?) vanished relatively suddenly. Focusing particularly on tantalizing remnants like the 55 fossilized skeletons found near one sinkhole in South Dakota and "Lyuba," the well preserved "prehistoric popsicle" discovered in 2007 in Siberia, the author presents both facts and educated guesses--while leaving it clear that there is much still to be learned. Illustrated with bright color photos and painted reconstructions, this should be a big draw for readers who might struggle with the greater level of specific anatomical detail in Sandra Markle's Outside and Inside Woolly Mammoths (2007). (Nonfiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 April

Gr 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

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