Saturday, December 28, 2019

Review - Rock Mammoth

Rock Mammoth
by Eveline Payette
illustrated by Guillaume Perreault
Date: 2020
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Louis has to do an oral presentation on his pet. To everyone's great surprise, he decides to present his mammoth. Even more surprising, he talks to the class about a new species of hairy Elephantidae only recently discovered: the Rock Mammoth. This proud ancestor of the hairy musicians of the '70s didn't actually disappear. In fact, these elephants had had enough of being rock stars and wished for a more tranquil life. So they decided to remain hidden during the last millennia. But now Louis, the great mammoth enthusiast and rigorous scientific apprentice, has discovered this well-kept secret and is ready to reveal it to the world.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I've usually had pretty good luck with books from this publisher, so this is a rare miss. Rock Mammoth blurs the line between fantasy and reality so much that even I was fooled. The problem is that parts of it sound factual and scientific, so the reader might assume that much of it is. Of course, a tiny mammoth hiding at the arena is fiction. But I spent much of the book thinking that Voïvoden Mamouten, a supposed Icelandic researcher that mammoths were named after, was a real person. (He's not.)

The book is also way too long. The other kids in Louis's class might have been hanging on his every word, but I quickly grew tired of the nonsense that kept coming out of his mouth. He's supposed to be doing an oral report on a pet, but he continually digresses (and the teacher doesn't really try to redirect him nearly enough). The result is a tedious story that's useless as far as teaching anything (because it's too difficult to figure out what's real without breaking out Google).

This was a disappointment, and kind of a waste of time. Definitely not recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 1.17 out of 5

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