Wandering Woolly

School Library Connection

Little Woolly is a young woolly mammoth, impatient with her mother and aunties as they eat grass; she wants to explore. Wandering off, Woolly tumbles down the river, floating past other creatures and some humans with their hunting dogs, and finally comes ashore on a log. She manages to wait out a storm, and get past a family of saber toothed tigers. She makes it back to her mother without any harm. The illustrations are detailed and colorful, and will appeal to young readers. A section called For Creative Minds has learning activities, and may be copied from the book or printed from the website. Additional teaching activities are available on the publisher's website. This short picture book has the potential to be both a fun read and a teaching tool.

Children's Literature

This entertaining journey is intriguing and informative as it shows what life was like for a mammoth thousands of years ago. Bright, richly colored illustrations enhance the text. End matter consists of an activity of ice age sequencing, a comparative activity of mammoths and elephants, an information page of early humans, and a page of extinct ice age animals. This book would fit well into geography lessons, science lessons, and history lessons.
- Nancy Garhan Attebury, for Children's Literature

Midwest Book Review - October 2015

"Wandering Woolly" is the Ice Age story of a baby mammoth named Woolly, who got separated from her mother and aunties' herd when she went exploring near the ice-filled river during spring thawing time. Little Woolly fell through the edge of glacier ice into the raging river and got carried downriver on the current. Soon she found a log to rest and hold on to, but she could not leave the river yet. As she sped by on her wild ride, she glimpsed a huge ground sloth, grazing in the trees, a hunting American lion, a giant beaver, a short-faced bear mother and cub, and a Clovis human village with hunting dogs, a saber-toothed cat family, and more. Woolly was tired and hungry and missed her mother's milk. Finally Woolly was able to get to the river shore safely, but she was a long way away from her mother and herd. Listening to her mother's and aunties' rumbling voices with her feet, Woolly was able to work her way back to her mother and herd safely. They were overjoyed to see her and Woolly was glad to be underneath her mother's warm furry legs and safe again. Stunning paintings depict Woolly and her adventures in Ice Age North America over 4,000 years ago. A For Creative Minds Section at the end of "Wandering Woolly" shows a sequencing puzzle demonstrating the expanding and shrinking of the glacier covering North America between 42,000 years ago and 6,000 years ago. Another game shows pictures and descriptions to help compare mammoths with elephants. Additional information is provided about the Clovis people and other extinct Ice Age animals depicted in the story. An interesting question to resolve is when, approximately, did Woolly live? The answer can be determined (in thousands of years ago) by the other extinct species examples she encountered on her river journey (since the giant ground sloth went extinct 13,000 years ago, little Woolly must have lived more than 13,000 years ago, although mammoths did not become extinct until 4,000 years ago.) "Wandering Wooly" is a fascinating fictional account of a woolly mammoth's experience in Ice Age North America over 13,000 year ago. Written simply, enriched with stunning imaginative artistic scenes, this beautiful book will appeal to young readers ages 4-8.

Literary Classics - June 2015

"This is a lovely book which incorporates learning about the Woolly Mammoth while teaching an understanding of the importance of staying close to an adult for safety's sake. Gabriel has skillfully blended fact and fiction in this book which young boys and girls are sure to connect with on many levels. This book is highly recommended for home and school libraries and for classroom reading."

Book Pleasures - May 2015

"What makes this book fun is learning about mammoths and how they survived in the wild a long time ago. Any child will enjoy looking at the colorful pictures while following the story and learning which animals are now extinct."

Reader's Haven Reviews

"This is a fictionalized tale of a young Woolly Mammoth. These creatures are now extinct and remains have been found by archaeologists. The author/illustrator is basing this gentle Woolly tale on creature remains found and the assumption that these creatures are from the family that is related to modern elephants and that they behaved similarly to elephants.

"The story is just that - a story. The "For Creative Minds" section at the back of the book - which is always a big hit - provides information on Ice Age Sequencing based on scientific thinking in some areas. Also included is a comparison of Mammoths and Elephants stating that the last woolly mammoths died 4,000 years ago. This comparison is very interesting."

Heck of a Bunch - May 2015

"This is a good book to discuss extinct animals and how they lived during their time. The "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book is very informative and educational, going over mammoths and elephants, Ice Age sequencing, Clovis People, and extinct Ice Age animals."

Goodreads Reviews - May 2015

"Although the last woolly mammoths went extinct 4,000 years ago, this book brings them back to life through Little Woolly's perilous adventure. Back matter includes activities and additional information about mammoths and the other animals she spots, now extinct. This is an engaging and informative introduction to the Ice Age, complete with maps that show how the ice receded over hundreds of years."

Feathered Quill Book reviews

"This is an interesting look at Little Woolly and her Ice Age world young children will enjoy. This tale, presented in picture book format, is a simple, but easy way for young students to be introduced to the Ice Age and its inhabitants. In addition to learning a bit about the life of the woolly mammoths, we learn many additional concepts and facts in the back matter. There is a section detailing Ice Age sequencing, additional information about elephants and woolly mammoths, the Clovis people, and extinct animals from the era. In addition there are four pages of activities and there are free complementary activities on the publisher's website. This is an excellent read and discuss book for students in the homeschool or classroom setting."

Outnumbered 3-1 - June 2015

" I feel like Woolly Mammoths are an incredible creature from Earth's history and this book gives us just a glimpse of what might happen in the harsh world to a lost baby animal. Great information in the creative minds section in the back on the ice age too."

Bookloons - June 2015

"This sweet book is written and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel. Illustrations of the animals in Woolly's world include saber-toothed cats, short faced bears, ground sloths, giant beavers and of course mammoths."

My MCBooks Blog - August 2015

This is a very good educational book. Teaching kids the importance of having to stay close to their parents and that wandering off doesn't make them safe.

Bob Walch Reviews - February 2016

Learn all about the Woolly Mammoth in this picture book that follows the ice-age adventures of a baby woolly. Survival in a hostile environment is a central concern especially when the baby is separated from her mother. Large, full page illustrations and a simple narrative make this a book that young readers can manage and after reading this picture book they can move on to more detailed material about creatures from this time period.

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books

Little Woolly is a young woolly mammoth who gets caught in the river and swept away from her herd. On her way back she encounters other animals, as well as Clovis humans, from the ice age. There is danger, but also the reassuring rumble of her family, carried through the ground. The bold illustrations have a collage quality about them. End papers provide further information about this time period and the people and animals who existed them.