A Pandemonium of Parrots and other animals
illustrated by Hui Skipp
Big Picture Press
Essentially what we have here in this super book is a series of spreads featuring collective nouns for a dozen or so animals large and small, each one playfully and alluringly illustrated by a talent new to me, Hui Skipp; and embedded within each illustration is a descriptive quatrain (presumably written by Kate Baker), such as this:
With nimble legs and pinching claws,
they run across the forest floor.
Their gleaming armour shimmers bright,
while fragile wings prepare for flight.
… as well as questions to answer by exploring what’s depicted on the spread.
Representing the feathered ones are the parrots of the title, flamingos (a flamboyance), penguins in a huddle and these Hummingbird dazzlers …
There are tigers – an ambush, a Lounge of Lizards basking in the sunshine …
Casually they lie around
slouched on rocks or on the ground.
Suddenly one spots its prey
and in a flash it darts away.
and on the river banks ‘An Army’ of frogs – croaking, singing wonders every one. The mammals are represented by a Sloth of Bears, An Ambush of Tigers, A Troop of Monkeys, A Conspiracy of Lemurs …
and A Caravan of Camels – beauties all.
The final two spreads are a “Did You See?’ array of all the animals with questions, followed by a concluding Who’s Who that gives snippets of information about each animal included.
Altogether this book is a treat for the eyes, an opportunity to learn some collective nouns and a chance to discover a few facts about thirteen fascinating groups of creatures. One for the primary classroom or family bookshelf.
Because of an Acorn
Lola M.Schaefer, Adam Schaefer and Frann Preston-Gannon
This is a simple, but wonderfully effective look at a forest habitat and the interconnectedness of the flora and fauna that are a part of the ecosystem.
Because of an acorn, a tree grows; this in turn provides a nesting place for a bird, an insect-eating one that happens to aid seed dispersal.
The seed in turn grows, producing a flower that fruits, providing a chipmunk food. A snake with its beady eye upon the chipmunk …
is in turn seized in a hawk’s talons and when the hawk lands on the branch of, yes, an oak, down comes an ripe acorn and more until ultimately, there’s …
Circles and cycles of life are evident in this cleverly conceived, unassuming little book that packs a powerful punch.
In addition to being a super little book to share with a class or group of young children, the fact that the text is simple, patterned, and perfectly matched to the pictures on each page, beginning readers can try reading it for themselves and feel empowered having done so.
There’s so much to see and to discuss in Frann Preston-Gannon’s lush foresty illustrations. UK readers will find some of the animals less familiar and the oak species is different from the British ones but this could be a good talking point.