Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups written and illustrated by Anna Wright

Collective nouns are always so much fun to teach kids because they can really get into it.  Now, Anna Wright has given us a book that is all about collective nouns describing animal groups or families.

Each group contains information about the animals social habits and how they interact with each other, as well as additional collective nouns used for some of the animals.  For instance, a gaggle of geese works perfectly well, until those geese are flying in a V-formation.  Then they are a wedge of geese, but if they are just flying not in a V-formation, they are called a skein of geese.  Who knew?

Young readers will delight to see that so many familiar animals have nouns that fit who the animals are so well - there's a mischief of mice. a flamboyance of flamingos, a prickle of hedgehogs - so descriptive and so apt.

Giraffes are one of my favorite animals so I was not only attracted to this book because of the title, but also because of the textiled collage bodies Anna Wright gave them.  In fact, all the illustrations are done with a mix of pen and ink, splashes of watercolor and textiles throughout, creating illustrations that are lovely to look at and give a feeling of texture to them.  Besides the giraffe illustration, two of  my other favorites is the flock of sheep wearing bits of sweater fabric for the woolly bodies,

and the herd of elephants with their large textile ears and coordinated body fabrics.

A Tower of Giraffes a beautifully crafted, well-researched book that is also interesting and fun, and, I believe, one that can lead to deeper conversations about the animals Wright included and explorations in the collective nouns and behaviors of animals not included, and there are lots of them (perhaps with a few arts and crafts projects similar to the way these were done).

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

This is book 10 of my 2015 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. I've seen this book before, but still haven't gotten it from the library. It looks wonderful, & I didn't know that the groups changed names per kind of gathering either (like the geese). The illustrations are so appealing, too. Thanks, Alex, good review!

  2. It's a quick pretty read! It's interesting who make up these collective nouns. Some are very appropriate for sure!

  3. I love the peek at the illustrations. Thanks!


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