A Pandemonium of Parrots, a Conspiracy of Lemurs and a Bouquet of Hummingbirds. Did you know that there were such wonderful collective words for birds and animals? Thirteen different collective words for various creatures are included in this beautiful, non fiction, illustrated picture book which provided an enjoyable learning experience for me as well as my daughter.
We learnt the collective names for animals, birds and fish including lizards, lemurs, tigers and flamingoes as well as parrots. Starting with angelfish each double spread is covered in a particular species and there is also a short rhyme to describe them. But there isn’t only a rhyme. The pages are also dotted with questions e.g who’s bumpy?, who’s catching flies? who’s standing on one leg? These questions invite children to really look at the pictures and provide a great stimulus to discuss actions e.g. who’s waving?, who’s laughing?, who’s resting? or emotions, e.g who’s cross? who’s sad? who’s unhappy? We had a lot of fun trying to find the parrot who was sitting backwards, enjoyed matching the angelfish and my daughter spent a long time trying to find the hummingbird that was resting. A double page spread at the back of the book asks another question about each animal, bird or fish then the final ‘Who’s Who’ page gives fun facts about each creature and the origins of their collective names.
A Pandemonium of Parrots is a sturdy hardback with thick paper pages, it’s perfect for browsing and there is so much detail in Hui Skipp’s beautiful illustrations. Not only are a variety of creatures included in the book but many double spreads show different varieties of them, e.g. beetles, frogs and bears. They’re shown in their natural habitats and it’s really difficult to choose a favourite page. As a bear lover I love the bears, my daughter’s favourite are the multicoloured hummingbirds.
There is a lot of learning in A Pandemonium of Parrots and it’s definitely a book to share, groups of children will have fun answering the questions together. Matching cards with the collective word on one card and the name of the creature on the other could be made or each child could match the rhyme from the book with the creature that it refers to. This would be a fantastic book to include in classroom topics on wildlife, animals, birds, insects as well as habitats. Older children could also be challenged to find more collective names for various creatures.
Age Range: 3+
Author: Kate Baker / Illustrator: Hui Skipp
Thank you to Big Picture Press for sending us a copy of A Pandemonium of Parrots and other animals. It’s a beautifully illustrated book which will interest adults as well as children, the perfect coffee table book.