“A charming tribute to the quirkiness of collective nouns … puns and wordplay abound.” — Foreword, starred review
A sloth of bears, a smack of jellyfish, a nuisance of cats — these are some of the surprising and idiosyncratic names we have for groups of animals. Inspired by the evocative possibilities of collective nouns, also called “terms of venery,” author Kyle Lukoff and illustrator Natalie Nelson have created a picture book full of clever wordplay and delightful illustrations. Each spread features a nugget of a story using a particular term, which is accompanied by a collage illustration that serves as the visual punch line.
But where did these unusual names come from? Many of them can be traced back to a book on hunting, hawking and heraldry, printed in 1486 — the Book of St. Albans, which has been reproduced many times since.
A Storytelling of Ravens provides a unique opportunity to explore and rejoice in the oddities of the English language.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).