Review: Group Hug! A Collective Noun Safari

A flamboyance of flamingos. A troop of orangutans. A bloat of hippos.                    

This book is a joyful adventure into the very strange world of animal collective nouns. A playful homage to our (at times) ridiculous English language, Group Hug! is wonderfully quirky.      

Wilbur is a city kid who loves animals and shares with us those that have the strangest group-names and habits. He does this through asking questions in cheerful rhyme that is clever and unpretentious.                                          The glorious illustrations – a combination of pencil and photoshop watercolour, topped off with a sneaky, smudgy sense of pastel – are dynamic and oozing with fun. Here’s my favourite double spread:                                                                                                                  

Standing beneath a burning sun, swatting flies from around our bums, bellowing out the latest news, we’re an implausibility of gnus!                                                                                     

The illustration here is gold. Gnus in a whirl of dust so viscous that it catches in your throat, smiling cheesily toothy grins straight at you, to totally charm your little socks off.   

The endpapers are fabulous and contain world maps front and back – one listing types of animals and the other, their collective nouns. As with the rest of the book’s content, these contain loads of potential fun and discovery for engaged readers to match up and source further information.                                                                        

Younger readers will adore this book, and I can see that it will also be a wonderful coffee table accent or even dinner-party fodder (ie: the conversation, not the meal itself!), appealing to all ages and stages of life.                   

Feelgood factor: This book supports The Lion’s Share, a fund backed by the UN’s Development Program – mentored by David Attenborough – and its work protecting our most vulnerable wildlife groups.

Title: Group Hug – A Collective Noun Safari
Author/Illustrator: Andy Fackrell
Publisher: Ford St $24.95
Publication Date: April 1, 2022
Format: Paperback/Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925804997
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

August 12, 2022 at 12:32AM DimbutNice