ALA Notable Books for Children
2016 (Younger Readers)
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Betsy R. Rosenthal

Publishers Weekly While several picture books have tackled collective nouns, Rosenthal and Jago's collaboration stands out for the sheer inventiveness they bring to the subject. Rosenthal frames her rhymes as rhetorical questions that often make surprising (and wonderful) interspecies connections: "When a murder of crows/ leaves barely a trace,/ is a sleuth of bears/ hot on the case?" she writes as Jago pictures fedora-wearing bears snuffling around with magnifying glasses while crows flee, swirling past a luminous full moon. Witty delights abound as a shiver of sharks bundles up in winter knitwear and a bouquet of pheasants peers glumly out of a tall vase. Ages 5-9. Author's agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator's agent: Ronnie Herman, Herman Agency. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal K-Gr 3-Collective noun books have been multiplying this past decade, and this compendium of poetry stands out for its artistry and creativity. Each collective noun couplet whimsically describes a group of animals: "Would a labor of moles/wear polka-dot ties/when it goes to work/for a business of flies?" The laugh-out-loud illustrations depict the events described, often serving as strong mnemonic devices: a "rumba of snakes" dances; a "bouquet of pheasants" sprout from a vase; the ambush of tigers creep across the grass, tails curled high in the air, sights set on the horizon; and a "bed of oysters" literally rest on a bed, snoozing away. The writing is pithy, with an iambic thrum that make memorization easy. VERDICT This crash course in juxtaposition and imagination should be celebrated with a peal of bells. An inspiring addition to any poetry collection.-Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Collective nouns for animals range from the humdrum and vaguely familiar (a pack of wolves and a string of ponies) to the colorful, off-the-wall, and hard to believe someone's not just making these things up (a bouquet of pheasants, a mischief of rats, and an intrusion of roaches). In this inventive picture book, 33 animal-themed collective nouns become springboards for the writer's imagination and the illustrator's creativity. Each double-page spread carries one or two rhyming verses posing questions related to certain collective nouns, such as, When a murder of crows / leaves barely a trace, / is a sleuth of bears / hot on the case? Rosenthal's logical pairings and absurd hypothetical situations are well matched by the dynamic digital illustrations. Jago uses structure, color, and repeated forms well, creating pictures that reward close attention with amusing details. An appended glossary brings all the collective nouns together, defines them, and asks kids to guess why each is well suited to the corresponding animal. A lively picture book with plenty of classroom potential.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.