I have to admit that I am a little partial to this story as I had a very small part in shaping it from its very beginnings when my wonderful critique partner, Barbara Lowell, first brought this adorable story to the attention of our critique group years ago.
I immediately fell in love with Sybilla, the young girl whose family lives in a natural history museum and whose best friend is a mastodon skeleton. I really wanted to see this story become a book…and now it is finally here!
Although it’s been a long road to get Sybilla’s story from beginning concept to reality, and it has seen many, many revisions, it’s even better than I could have imagined. The gorgeous illustrations by Italian illustrator Antonio Marinoni are a perfect fit.
MY MASTODON by Barbara Lowell
Published by: Creative Editions
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genres: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Biography
Inspired by the 19th-century lives of artist and scientist Charles Willson Peale’s family, this is a tale of a girl and her favorite companion—a fossilized mastodon!
(Plot summary from author’s website.)
Isn’t that a fascinating place to grow up? In a museum? And that story is based on a real family!
I love Sybilla and how she thinks of herself as an explorer, just like her father. I also love how she helps out around the museum.
Sybilla has strong feelings about what should and should not be done with her mastodon. When she hears her friend will be sent away, she campaigns to have him stay.
And even creates flyers advertising her opinion.
She also has a pretty great older brother, Rembrandt, who doesn’t like seeing her so sad. I don’t want to spoil the ending, so you should read this wonderful book yourself!
But don’t just take my word for it, this book received a starred Kirkus review!
“Accomplished illustrations further elevate this engaging introduction to America’s first family of science.”
Here are what other reviewers had to say:
“It’s a sweet and remarkable story, with Marinoni’s exquisite illustrations inviting the reader directly into the Peale’s museum home, a world of taxidermic animals and towering skeletons” – Booklist Review
“Nurtured by intelligent eccentric family members and permitted familiarity with priceless scientific curiosities, Sybilla has an ideal Enlightenment-era childhood” – Publishers Weekly
I know you will love this story as much I as do!
Learn more about Barbara Lowell here.