Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I have reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book I reviewed for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now focusing on writing reviews and articles, and finding interesting book related news, for this blog. Many of the titles that I will be sharing with you will appeal to adults as well as children. I firmly believe that some of the best writing in the world can be found on the pages of books that were written for young people. I invite you adults to explore these books for yourselves; they will, I am sure, delight and surprise you. I hope what you will find here will make your journey into the world of children's literature more enjoyable. Please visit the Through the Looking Glass Facebook page as well for even more bookish posts

Friday, February 19, 2016

Poetry Friday with a review of An Ambush of Tigers

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns
I have reviewed several books that explore collective nouns, and all of them have been interesting. What makes today's poetry book special is that the collective noun words presented to the reader are packaged with wonderful verse that is peppered with clever, and often amusing, word play.

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns
Betsy R. Rosenthal
Illustrated by Jago
Poetry picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Millbrook Press, 2015, 978-1-4677-1464-8
A group of humans does not really have a special name, but other animals do have collective nouns, which many of us use regularly. We know that sheep form flocks, and that a group of cows is a herd. The interesting thing is that there are so many other collective nouns for animals out there, many of which are deliciously wonderful and interesting.
   For example, a group of giraffes is called a tower, a gathering of otters is a raft, and a crowd of rats is called a mischief. When you consider that giraffes are very tall, that otters spend much of their life swimming and floating about in water, and that rats are known for being mischievous, these collective nouns seem very appropriate.
  It would be easy to describe these words in a clinical, dictionary sort of way, but in this clever picture book the author uses nonsense poems to introduce us to a delightful collection of collective nouns. For each set of verse she asks a question or two that will make young readers laugh. For example, she wonders if “When a murder of crows, / leaves barely a trace, /is a sleuth of bears hot on the case?” And what about a “parcel of penguins?” Can they be “sent in the mail?” If a “band of gorillas” set up to play a gig, will a “stench of skunks / scare them away?”
   Children will love the clever rhyming questions that appear on the pages of this beautifully illustrated book. At the back of the book they will find a glossary that explores alternate meanings for the collective nouns that appear in the book, meanings that will help them see that some of the collective nouns perfectly match the animal species that they are associated with.

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