FICTION

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth

illus. by Kate Hindley. 32p. Holt. Jan. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780805099669.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2—Washing a woolly mammoth is possible, but one must carefully follow each step. Children are introduced to a gigantic, unwashed wooly mammoth and the intrepid young girl who demonstrates the proper method for bathing such a beast. Surrounded by bits of leaves and circling flies, the "notoriously tricky to clean" animal stares despondently out at readers. The girl quickly takes charge, recommending the proper level of water for the tub and methods to entice the mammoth into the bath (by brute force, scare tactics, or tempting baked goods). All ends with an invitation to a bubbly, toy-filled soak for her muddy, wooly friend. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations show an eye for detail; a plethora of humorous bath products preceding the title page include "tusk whitener," "antibacterial hoof wash," and a generous tube of "elbow grease." The procedural text keeps the pages turning and contrasts nicely with the winsome illustrations. Youngsters will enjoy this lighthearted tale, especially the very last step: "Throw in the towel and SNUGGLE!"—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Suited up in a raincoat and rain boots, one determined youngster guides the reader step by step through the tricky task of bathing a woolly mammoth. From filling the tub to jumping into it with him, the child demonstrates that the best plan is to be patient and flexible. Like the text, Hindley's illustrations are simple and meticulous yet laced with humorous bits.

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