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Friday, July 1, 2016

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns. Written by Betsy R Rosenthal and illustrated by Jago. Millbrook Press, Thomas Allen & Son. 2015. $25.99 ages 5 and up

"Would a labor of moles
wear polka-dot ties
when it goes to work
for a business of flies?

Who cleans up
when a clutter of cats
gets fooled by the pranks
of a mischief of rats?"

It's funny how trends in publishing go. I know I have told earlier you about other wonderful books this year that feature collective nouns. Look for A Tower of Giraffes (Random House, 2015) and There Is a Tribe of Kids (Macmillan, 2016).

In Betsy Rosenthal's new book, readers get a real feel for the fun that language can instill in each one of us. As you can tell from the above quote, you are in for a great deal of enjoyment when you share this book or read it on your own.

It is cleverly written, and in verse no less. I have read it a number of times - each time I get a little giggle for the wonderful use of homonyms. What a lot of research and thought is displayed on each page! Award winning artist Jago did his paintings on canvas to ensure a lovely texture for each of the 33 animals presented. Jago's deftly created groups match the accompanying text with humor and detail: the four sharks in the shiver sport toques, scarves and earmuffs to 'turn up the heat', thus improving their own shivers. Word choice is impeccable, and allows context for children wanting to remember the collective nouns that represent the animals included.

Don't miss the glossary where readers can check out meanings for each of the collective nouns.

What fun this is to read aloud ... I have done that at home with no one in the house! Now, I just need someone else to have a listen!

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