Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Gaggle of Geese & A Clutter of Cats

While there is certainly a need for children's books that lay out the Bible and theology in a strong fashion, I really enjoy children's books that teach non-biblical things alongside simple biblical truths. A Gaggle of Geese & a Clutter of Cats, by favorite children's book author Dandi Daley Mackall, does just that. The book begins:
"When God made the world,
he formed all kinds of creatures,
Fashioned in families of similar features.
Everyone knows there are kittens in litters.
Packs, flocks, and herds, common names for our critters.
But animals groups go by fancy names, too.
In jungles, a pet store, a pasture, a zoo."
The rhyming text then goes on to teach all kinds of wonderful names for groups of animals. Some, most of us have heard of. But others will undoubtedly be a surprise. For example, did you know a group of peacocks is called a "muster?" That a group of crows is a "murder?" A group of bears is a "sleuth?" A group of owls, a "parliament?" Fun stuff, here! The book ends:
"Now here's a fine group. What's the name?
Please keep guessing!
A big group of kids?
Why, we call them a BLESSING!
The last page of the book is a quote from Genesis 1:20 -25, stating how God created all creatures. On every page of this book, gorgeous illustrations by David Hohn make reading a feast for the eyes. There is such depth, and detail, and color in these illustrations!
What I Like: Everything. This book teaches a bit about most children's favorite subject (animals), while readily acknowledging God's wonderful creativity. The illustrations are superb; I think this book will quickly become a favorite in many households.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 9 - 12, but I assure you toddlers on up will enjoy this one.
Publishing Info: Waterbrook Press, 2007; ISBN: 1400072042; hard back, $9.99.
Buy Now at Christianbook.com for $7.99.
Special Info: Check out illustrator's David Hohn's website, which includes many examples of his art. Also, take a peek at author Dandi Daley Mackall's website.

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