At our house, there is nothing we love more than a good alphabet book, with animal books weighing in at a close second. Predictably, this was a definite winner as soon as we had wrestled it from the wrapper. As a bonus, it was super fun to whip it out and quiz people who hadn't been given the chance to read it. "What do you call a bunch of turtles? Wrong!"
I think it's really cool that a) each animal has their own name for their specific group, and b) so many of them really are not common knowledge. At least that was the result of our informal polling. Author Sarah Asper-Smith must have come to the same conclusion with her research. After reading that a group of ferrets is called a business, she started to research the collective nouns for animals (incidentally this turned out to be more lucrative than our path of just mocking friends and family for their wrong answers) and then illustrated them. She cleverly parlayed her collection into this adorable book.
How many animal groups do you think you can name? I felt pretty confident after Army of Ants and Flutter of Butterflies, but our guessing went downhill from there. I had no idea frogs gathered in a knot or a bunch of rhinoceroses was referred to as a crash. These are fun to learn!
At first glance, the illustrations appear simple, with the animals shown in black silhouette against bright backgrounds. But when you look a bit closer, you'll find fun little details tucked in, like a lone kangaroo sitting still while the rest of the troop gallops past, or a baby elephant tucked in line with the herd. I like the watch of nightingales perched all over their beautiful lime green tree.
This last photo isn't in the book, but rather a collection of the book, (plus I just liked it). Author Sarah Asper-Smith stands in front of all twenty-six illustrations from her book. How cool would that be to have in your house? Click here to read an interesting interview with her on the Indie/Pretty/Perfect blog. I should also mention that you should check out Sarah's Etsy shop to purchase prints or download her free coloring book for just plain fun.