Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt: The True Story of the Quest for America's Biggest Bones


Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt is a delightful romp in history that highlights American history and one fascinating facet of forefather Thomas Jefferson. Just one year after winning independence from British rule, Thomas Jefferson touts America as the greatest place to live. It's a beautiful country with land and riches for settlers. In King Louis' court in France,  Count Baffon begs to disagree. He says America is a swampy, dirty place. Jefferson makes it his job to prove Baffon wrong.

Jefferson begs his scouts to find the largest animal in America to show how much bigger and better America is. Soon, Jefferson receives pelts from every type of animal imaginable and giant bones arrive. When they assemble the skeleton, it's a giant sloth. Count Baffon is unimpressed. Then the most amazing discovery, the bones of a giant mammoth!

Fascinating author's note and a list of who's who are included for future history buffs. Whimsical illustrations by Nancy Carpenter breathe life into history. The illustrations are so deftly handled that people jump off the pages! Rhyming content is fun and will keep younger readers interested. This picture book has wide appeal for any readers who love history, archeology, dinosaurs, adventure and touches of whimsy. Much more than a picture book, this is a must read and a must have for all collections.

Highly recommended for early readers. Pre-school age may not sit still for the entire read, but a young one who loves dinosaurs and bones will find this fascinating. Grade K-up (depending on child's attention span).

40 pages               9781481442695          Grades K-up

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Florida  USA



Excerpt from Kirkus Reviews:

"Moreover, the digital, watercolor-style illustrations perpetuate stereotypes: A Native American in a feathered headdress (the only one in the book) peers from behind a tree; enslaved black figures work next to white ones in a semblance of parity. People of color are voiceless and have indeterminate facial features, rendering them homogenous and secondary in importance to white characters."


In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones.

In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing!

The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy.

Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.--from the publisher

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!
Already have an account? or Create an account