An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns is made for reading out loud, with rhythmic lines and joyous wordplay. Betty R. Rosenthal presents each collective noun in a rhyme that plays with the dual meanings of each word, suggesting that a “lounge of lizards” is, in fact, lounging around, and a “mischief of rats” might be causing all kinds of trouble. The rhymes have a good swing to them, making them a pleasure to read out loud, and the chosen nouns make for clever dual meanings. Each rhyme hints at a larger story, asking what each group might be doing and leaving room for discussion of what might happen next as well as of the varied meanings of words.
Jago provides the other half of each story, showing the lounge of lizards in their chairs, the rumba of rattlesnakes dancing, and the sleuth of bears hot on the trail. The paintings are colorful, lively images full of cheerful animals negotiating the dilemmas their collective names sometimes cause—a shiver of sharks, for instance, needs hats; a flush of ducks have to negotiate the pipes they find themselves in. They are active without being overly busy, and pleasantly textured backgrounds allow the protagonists to stand out.
Rosenthal has also provided the inquisitive reader with a small dictionary at the end, expanding on each collective noun and explaining its alternate meaning.
The book is recommended for giving to or reading out loud to young word-lovers or animal lovers.
An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns comes out Apr 1, 2015 from Millbrook Press.
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: April 2015