A Paddling of Ducks: Animals in Groups from A to Z

Overview

Featuring groups of animals from an army of ants to a herd of zebras, this book takes young children on a wildly imaginative tour through a zany animal kingdom. Each group of animals is described using a collective noun (for example, a skulk of foxes, a nest of vipers, a labor of moles). Joseph Kelly's richly detailed illustrations show animals engaged in gently surreal play on a summer day in various park-like settings. Young readers will revel in the visual jokes and puns on ...
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Overview

Featuring groups of animals from an army of ants to a herd of zebras, this book takes young children on a wildly imaginative tour through a zany animal kingdom. Each group of animals is described using a collective noun (for example, a skulk of foxes, a nest of vipers, a labor of moles). Joseph Kelly's richly detailed illustrations show animals engaged in gently surreal play on a summer day in various park-like settings. Young readers will revel in the visual jokes and puns on every page.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Some of the intriguing names of collective nouns are presented in alphabetical order, beginning with "An army of Ants" and "A sloth of Bears," through "A band of Gorillas" and "A blast of Hippos," "A bed of Oysters" and "ostentation of Peacocks," to "A swarm of Yellow Jackets" and "A herd of Zebras." Each group name claims a single or double page, leaving lots of room for Kelly's imagination to involve his naturalistic but anthropomorphic characters in some unusually humorous enterprise: quails ride motor scooters; wolves play chess while watching a nest of vipers play with the ducks that seem to intrude throughout; a mob of kangaroos in blue t-shirts watch koalas play soccer, and so forth. Oils, acrylics, "and the occasional pixel" are employed to overload each scene with creatures and props in natural settings. Despite the humor, the names are all accurate. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this simple ABC book, each letter is represented by a group of animals and the collective noun associated with them. For example, A is for "an army of ants" has an illustration of many ants eating an aardvark's doughnut. The illustrations of the various creatures are vivid and detailed. The crocodiles sport sun bonnets and sunglasses, the "skulk of foxes" wears T-shirts and jewelry, the band of gorillas wears costumes and plays various instruments, and the troop of uakaris feasts on popsicles. Attractive, but additional.—Katie Cerasale-Messina, AC Whelan Elementary School, Revere, MA
Publishers Weekly
This ABC book provides a delightfully offbeat introduction to collective nouns, featuring groups of animals at a Riviera-like resort locale with palm trees and a seaside Ferris wheel. An “army of Ants” closes in on an anteater's doughnuts (he's too busy with his laptop and coffee to notice), while a “bloat of Hippos” work out on exercise bikes. Even better than learning some of the unusual ways to refer to multiple animals is the way Kelly's soft-focus oil and acrylic paintings riff on the terms themselves. Thus, a “gang of Elk” and “skulk of Foxes” look appropriately rowdy, and a “labor of Moles” in hardhats are seen doing excavation work. The anthropomorphic animals feel anatomically authentic, but with exaggerated joie de vivre to spare. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553376828
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,459,427
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Blain Parker is the author of Jasper's Day and A Paddling of Ducks. Over the years, she and her family have shared their home with a banana king snake, a hamster, numerous fish and two ducks.

Joseph Kelly is a commercial and industrial artist. He is illustrator of the Martin Bridge series of chapter books and A Paddling of Ducks. He lives in Sonoma, California.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    IMAGINATIVE AND FUN

    With bright colors so vivid that they seem to throb, pulse on the pages artist Joseph Kelly presents animals in groups from A to Z. Not only are the animals portrayed in high beam hues, but they are also engaged in laugh provoking activities. For starters we find an ant with coffee cup and bagel at the ready working on his computer. Later, we find "A party of Jays" celebrating with a frosted cake evidently prepared by a smiling lizard chef.

    Author Parker brings us "A gang of elks" having a great time on skate boards, while "A labor of Moles" exhibit their industry in hard hats as one maneuvers a steam shovel. "A bed of Oysters" finds them enjoying the sea shore beneath beach umbrellas, and "A bevy of Quail" races around on motor scooters.

    A PADDLING OF DUCKS is a fun and imaginative way for young readers to familiarize themselves with the alphabet and animals.

    - Gail Cooke

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