Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth
by Michelle Robinson; illus by Kate Hindley
32 pages; ages 3-8
Henry Holt & Co, 2014 

It's the first day of spring - so it's probably time to wash your mammoth.

Theme: tackling a big project

"Does your woolly mammoth need a bath? You'll need to prepare!" This book offers a cheeky step-by-step guide to washing a woolly mammoth:
Step 1. Fill the bathtub.
Step 2. Add bubble bath.
Step 3. Add your mammoth.... and this is where the fun begins. Because, really, how does one get one's mammoth into the tub?

Never fear - by step 7 we're washing its hair. And then in step 8 we - wait a minute! How did your mammoth get into that tree? Never mind... to get a wet woolly mammoth down from a tree all you need is a trampoline. A really strong trampoline.

What I like about this book: It's fun! It's imaginative. And it offers very good minimally useful tips on washing your average household pet. I like the illustrations, too. They are whimsical and mud-splattered and tickle the imagination.

Activities beyond the book:

Make a mammoth puppet out of a paper bag. All you need are scissors, some paper, markers and glue... and a bit of imagination. Glue on fur or yarn for hair if you want - there are some cool hair styles in the book.

Listen to what a mammoth may have sounded like - as an artist tries to resurrect extinct sound.

Write step-by-step directions for how to do something  - wash a car, build a fort, create a map of your universe - or just make a s'more.

Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. Sounds like a very entertaining story because it is so obsurd. You're right, it does exercise a child's imagination and make one think about bathing pets.

    1. and who wouldn't want a woolly mammoth as a pet!

  2. I will have to get this one. It sounds great. Thanks for telling me about it.

  3. This sounds a little like the sort of book Jane Yolen might write - full of fun and imagination!

  4. LOVE this book, Sue! So cute and fun! Thanks for sharing!

  5. What fun! I absolutely LOVE the title, and it looks as though I'd love the book as well. And I want to make my own paper bag mammoth! Thanks!

  6. Great title and fun premise! Love the mammoth craft!

  7. Looks like a fun one! And some fun activities as well! I can hear the kids now - trying to be wooly mammoths!

  8. Oh, you had me at WOOLLY MAMMOTH. I'm a big fan of the Ice Age. We visit the La Brea Tar Pits quite frequently where their close cousins -- the Columbian mammoths -- have turned up. I already put this one on hold.

  9. HaHa. This looks really terrific. Thanks. I especially love your mammoth puppet craft.