WILL'S MAMMOTH by Rafe Martin
Kirkus Star


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From Gammell's imaginatively lettered title page to the last sighting of young Will, sound asleep and dreaming of his favorite subject, this is a rare treasure of a book. Storyteller Martin provides a simple framing text for this almost wordless book, beginning with ""Will loved mammoths"" and explaining that although his parents have told him that there aren't any now, ""Will knew that there were."" But this is primarily Gammell's book. First showing Will indoors, happily surrounded by mammoth memorabilia, including his own drawings, Gammell takes him out into a snowy landscape where--in a beguiling series of double spreads--Will is seen gleefully riding a huge, benign, rainbow-tusked mammoth surrounded by swirling Pollock-like snow and enough other mammoths to gladden the heart of any young enthusiast. En route, there are other beasts--bears, wolves, saber-toothed tigers; dramas--Will's beast helps rescue a young mammoth; an encounter with early man, his children not only making rock drawings but a snow-sculpture mammoth; and many other imaginative details. Near the end, Will returns to the cold reality of words when he's called in to supper; but Gammell gives even the words a splendid imaginative twist, lettering them in cheerful colors and patterns that perfectly reflect their meaning and enhance the total design. A paean to imaginative play that should be around as long as the mammoth has been gone.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1989
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam