Want to introduce your students to books about woolly mammoths, the Ice Age, or extinct animals?
Start them off with a crazy news story! For the past several years, a Dallas company has been trying to “de-extinct” the woolly mammoth. They are now saying they think they will succeed by 2027.
WHAT ON EARTH.
I actually hate this story. The brilliant Jurassic Park line of “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should” applies so well here.
I also call BS on the scientist in this news article saying that they are doing this to slow climate change in the Arctic. That is just total malarky, and he knows it. IF this baby mammoth even can be created, IF it survives to become a healthy adult, IF it manages to reproduce, IF a new ecosystem can be established, IF they can survive today when so many animals cannot…
And let’s not forget the exploitation for human entertainment that would occur.
Imagine if we channeled all this scientific research and money into restoring and protecting currently endangered animals.
Clearly, I have a lot of opinions about this story…and I bet you and your students do, too!
So this week’s “5 Books” post is all about the woolly mammoth! Share some news articles, create a display, and get them talking about this story! What do students think about bringing back the woolly mammoth?
Need a display poster to go with it? I’ve got a simple (and free) poster in my Shared Google Drive for Librarians! I’ve linked the entire Drive here, but the mammoth poster is under Librarians – Posters and Signs – Mammoths.
FIVE BOOKS ABOUT WOOLLY MAMMOTHS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
All five of these woolly mammoth books received at least two positive professional reviews on Titlewave. Some also received starred reviews, as noted.
Author: Ben Lerwill
Illustrator: Grahame Baker-Smith
Genre: informational picture book
Recommended for: Grades 1-5
Themes: ancient world, prehistoric times, Stone Age, woolly mammoths, elephant birds, giant wombats, saber-toothed cats, short-faced bears, dire wolves, prehistoric animals, extinct animals
Starred reviews: Booklist
Publisher’s Summary of Stone Age Beasts:
Are you brave enough to come face-to-face with the biggest and most awe-inspiring prehistoric beasts?
In this dramatic introduction to the Stone Age world, the stupendous giants that shared the earth with our human ancestors—from the woolly mammoth and the fearsome saber-toothed cat to the elephant bird and the giant wombat—leap, slither, and swoop to life on eighteen atmospheric and densely packed double-page spreads spotlighting animals from around the globe.
Each lively profile is anchored to a stunning illustration by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Grahame Baker-Smith and features jaw-dropping facts about the animal’s anatomy and behavior, with an emphasis on how it interacted with early humans.
Sidebars highlight scientific name, weight, territorial range, and extinction dates, while a glossary and end notes offer additional color and context to round out a boldly packaged and richly absorbing journey of discovery.
Author: David A. Steen and Neon Squid
Illustrator: Chiara Fedele
Genre: informational picture book
Recommended for: Grades 3-6
Themes: biology, conservation, science, wildlife, plant life, biodiversity, ecosystems, animal extinction, nature
Starred reviews: Kirkus
Publisher’s Summary of Rewilding:
Discover inspiring stories of wildlife brought back from the brink of extinction!
Rewilding means returning animals or plants to places where they used to live. In this book, acclaimed conservation biologist and science communicator David A. Steen introduces children to the scientists determined to turn back the hands of time to create a greener future. Read about awe-inspiring rewilding projects, including:
• The wolves that returned to Yellowstone National Park and dramatically improved the ecosystem
• The beavers reintroduced to their old territories to build dams to stop them flooding
• The Galápagos giant tortoises who beat the odds to survive extinction and return to their island home
Throughout the heartwarming true stories, beautifully illustrated by award-winning artist Chiara Fedele, children will learn how different species evolved to live side by side and will see what it takes to be a conservation scientist. They might even be inspired to become a wildlife activist themselves!
By the end of the book kids will be left with a key message: it’s not too late to fix the planet.
Author: Joseph Helgerson
Illustrator: Udayana Lugo
Genre: animal fantasy, humor
Recommended for: Grades 3-8
Themes: woodland animals, blizzard, winter weather, time travel, mammoths, helping others
Protagonist: a human girl + personified animal characters - woolly mammoth, possum, raccoon, red squirrel
Starred reviews: no starred reviews
Publisher’s Summary of The Lost Galumpus:
When a furry, four-legged beast from the distant past appears in their park, the local animals are concerned about unwanted attention from humans. Gilly the Possum, assistant to raccoon Mayor Crawdaddy, is tasked with figuring out where the lost galumpus came from . . . and how to get him home again.
While Gilly and the Mayor don’t agree on much, they can agree on one thing: with a huge blizzard rolling in, the galumpus needs their help, no matter where he came from.
Publisher’s Summary of Mammoth Science:
From the interior of an atom to the solar system and beyond, the mammoths seek to understand the science!
These intrepid science demonstrators will go to incredible lengths to educate and entertain. They wrestle with magnets to understand their powerful force, make mammoth models of different materials explore what gives them mass, and step into an X-ray machine to reveal the bones beneath their woolly exterior.
Observing and recording the mammoth’s behavior is bestselling illustrator David Macaulay, whose How Machines Work won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize in 2016.
Renowned for his ability to explain complex ideas with simple genius, Macaulay captures the oddball humor of his subject matter, making Macaulay’s Mammoth Science the perfect introduction to scientific principles for the young and the young-at-heart.
Author: Michelle Robinson
Illustrator: Kate Hindley
Genre: picture book, humor
Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
Themes: bathtime, woolly mammoths, problem solving, perseverance, unconventional pets
Protagonist: young white child wearing a raincoat
Starred reviews: no starred reviews
Pages: 26 unnumbered pages
Publisher’s Summary of How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth:
Things can get a bit messy when you try to wash a woolly mammoth.
Follow this step-by-step guide to successfully clean up your hairy friend.
Be forewarned! A mammoth’s tummy is terribly tickly.
Young readers and parents alike will appreciate this hilarious bath time adventure in How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth.
Woolly Mammoth De-Extinction Articles for Kids:
- “Should We Bring Back Extinct Animals?” by Scholastic News – gives YES and NO sides to the argument
- “Reversing Extinction” by Time for Kids
- “Woolly Mammoth” by National Geographic Kids