Mammoth

Mammoth
Anna Kemp and Adam Beer
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Waking from a sleep of indeterminate length an Ice Age mammoth is totally bothered, bewildered and bemused by the strange sights that meet his eyes when he heads to the meadow to join his herd for breakfast.
Having climbed to the top of a hill he sees an enormous ‘gleaming forest’ and makes his way towards it. Instead of his relations, said forest is full of weird smells and alarming sounds.

Nonetheless stuck in the big city, the visitor starts going about his daily business, despite being on the receiving end of some strange looks from those he encounters, not to mention a fair bit of shouty behaviour from the ‘cavemen’.

Deciding to make himself useful the mammoth does a spot of topiary but again his efforts are far from appreciated.

Then his hopes are raised when he finally enters the Ice Age exhibition and trumpets loudly at the mammoths before him. But these creatures he’d thought were from his herd prove not to be so and this disappointment triggers a rampage. Is he really now the only mammoth in the entire world.

In the distance he hears a faint trumpeting sound – strange and beautiful although not a mammoth sound – and it’s calling to him.

Perhaps at last he’s found his herd …

Anna Kemp tells a fun story about finding somewhere to be yourself with people who will accept you no matter what. Debut picture book illustrator, Adam Beer, brings out the humour of the mammoth’s situation, his interpretations of what he sees and some of the daft things he does (sporting a bow tie to visit the museum, for instance) while making readers feel sympathy at his plight.

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