A Storytelling of Ravens, by Kyle Lukoff/Illustrated by Natalie Nelson, (May 2018, Groundwood Books), $17.95, ISBN: 9781554989126
Recommended for readers ages 5-8
If you loved Lane Smith’s There is a Tribe of Kids (2016), you’ll get a kick out of A Storytelling of Ravens, which finds new animal collectives to name and puts each group in an amusing context. A nuisance of cats blames some wayward yarn on a sleeping dog; a trip of sheep looks away from one clumsy member in pure embarassment; a knot of toads get their tongues in a – well, a knot, really – over a tasty fly. Where There is a Tribe of Kids follows one child through animal groups as he searches for his tribe, the animals are at the silly focus of this book, which shows readers how to have more fun with words – something I thoroughly enjoy doing in my storytimes. Tell your kiddos that a group of jellyfish is known as a smack, and they will have fun with that for HOURS. Trust me. I have a five-year-old, I know. The art is an eclectic mix of gouache paint, ink drawings, found photographs, and digital collage, giving the book a funky, vintage art feel. This one is fun for English classes, fun for nature/science classes, and fun for storytime – try introducing it to readers during an animal storytime. I think I’m going to give some flannels a shot with this one, now that I think of it.
Pair this with more wordplay books like TOON’s Wordplay graphic novel by Ivan Brunetti, Michaël Ecoffier’s Take Away the A, or Tara Lazar’s hilarious book, 7 Ate 9.