Tuesday, September 08, 2015

An Ambush of Tigers

An Ambush of Tigers
A wild gathering of collective nouns
by Betsy R. Rosenthal
illustrated by Jago
Millbrook Press/Minneapolis, 2015

Do you ever wonder 
what animals do
when they gather in groups
of more than two?

Thus begins this witty and clever book about collective nouns that maintains a lilting rhythm throughout while encouraging the kids to wonder whether each collective noun might be the most appropriate for that animal.

The illustrations just took my breath away! Illustrator Jago has not only infused the book with colors and warmth, but a lot of cheeky humor and with plenty to discover. Sharks with scarves, beanies and earmuffs ("shiver of sharks"), pheasants arranged in an ornate vase ("bouquet of pheasants"), fedora-wearing bears with magnifying glasses seemingly tracking the crows fleeing to the moon ("murder of crows", "sleuth of bears")...

The favorite one for the seven year old is:

Does a prickle of porcupines
feel any pain?
Can a flush of mallards
get sucked down the drain?

The illustration shows three porcupines on hospital beds sporting heavy bandages, a sink between two of them whose pipes go down back and forth and get larger and fatter and more convoluted with mallards getting flushed into an underground tunnel at the other end.

Even the cover image has a little cub peeking through binoculars getting set for an ambush of his own.

Glossary explains the meaning of the animal group names.

Thirty three animals, thirty three collective nouns, and plenty of reading fun!

[image source: amazon.com]

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