Crowds of Creatures

Crowds of Creatures

Kate Riggs (Author)

Fiammetta Dogi (Illustrator)

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Detailed illustrations and simple text are paired within a board book format to introduce young readers to six diverse animal groups and the unique names by which they are known.

Reviews

A primer of collective animal nouns. In rhymed couplets (one line per double-page spread), Riggs introduces the very young to a "flock of geese," a "colony of ants," "troops of monkeys," and more. The title ends with a review of all the creatures presented with a regrettably forced rhyme: "A pod of dolphins catches a wave.//Families go by many names!" Dogi's naturalistic art, which has the polished look of airbrushed renderings, is attractive and helpful to young ones learning to name the creatures of the animal kingdom. The images are presented against a bright-white background, which, though fine in most cases, is a poor choice for some of spreads, particularly for the "cloud of bats," as it may lead readers to believe that these critters tend to roost in brightly lit areas. Some of the double spreads present one integrated scene, while others use two distinct images to illustrate the animals in question, bifurcating the tableau. The lovely art and pleasant text is ill served by the book design.

Kirkus Reviews , July 2017

A playful romp through the animal kingdom and the various terms used to describe family groups. Riggs's rhyming couplets are light and easy to read ("A flock of geese flies to nest./A colony of ants works without rest.") and are well paired with Dogi's illustrations, which were created by airbrush and then by hand. The spread on the troop of monkeys is particularly spirited.

School Library Journal , July 2017

Most of us are familiar with a selection of collective nouns that are given to groups of animals. We knew about herds of cows and gaggles of geese. We may even know about a murder of crows, because the collective noun for crows is such an unusual and sinister one. In this lovely little board book, beautiful pieces of artwork are paired with a wonderful rhyming text to introduce little children to six image-rich collective nouns. The collective nouns chosen for the book suit the animals that they are paired with perfectly, as they capture the nature of the animals that they are describing. Thus we read about "A colony of ants works without rest," which is very fitting as most ant species actually live in large colonies. Later on in the book we encounter "A cloud of bats hangs in a cave." If you ever see a large group of bats flying in a dusky sky, you will notice that they can look very much like a cloud of smoke drifting on the breeze. Little children will love looking at the pictures of the animals in this book, all of which are engaging and interesting.

–Marya Jansen-Gruber, Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews , January 2017