Have you ever heard of a prickle of porcupines? Or a tower of giraffes? What about a parcel of penguins? This fun-filled romp through the animal kingdom introduces collective nouns for animals through wordplay. Clever rhymes and humorous illustrations bring these collective nouns to life in funny ways, making it easy to remember which terms and animals go together. A glossary in the back matter offers further explanation of words used as collective nouns, such as sleuth meaning "detective."
★ 03/09/2015Publishers 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.)
★ 02/01/2015School 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
★ 2015-02-03Kirkus Reviews
Homonyms are used as mnemonic devices to help readers remember "A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns."Cleverness abounds in Rosenthal's latest, from the title to the backmatter, which presents a glossary—"ambush (tigers): an attack from a hiding place"—asking children to guess why the words are appropriate for each animal group. The tongue-in-cheek text never falters in its rhythm and rhyme. "Does a prickle of porcupines / feel any pain? / Can a flush of mallards / get sucked down the drain?" The illustrations are a perfect match for the text's wit. Three heavily bandaged porcupines lie in hospital beds, a sink between two of them. The convoluted pipes under the sink twist and turn across the gutter to discharge both water and mallards in an underground tunnel. A sleuth of bears, complete with magnifying glasses and fedoras, investigate a murder of crows. Three kangaroos belong to a troop, collecting dues and selling cookies while wearing sashes sewn with patches. Other highlights from the 33 featured animals include a shiver of sharks sporting scarves, a bouquet of pheasants arranged in a vase, a dancing rhumba of rattlesnakes and a lounge of lizards in the sun by the pool. Jago's illustrations walk the line between cartoon and realistic, his animals only anthropomorphized if the text suggests it. All are painted on canvas, which supplies a pleasing texture. Collective nouns have never been this much fun…or memorable. (Informational picture book. 5-9)