Ensemble: Animals in Harmony

Peter Pauper Pr. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781441335500.
Gr 2-5–Readers learn that a group of hippos is a bloat and more in this sweet book that takes on butterflies (a swarm), dolphins (a pod), spider crabs (a cast), and others, and shares how the groups protect and tend to one another. Every spread contains a simple sentence that shares the collective noun and the general reason for that grouping, with the exception of the page on Kemp’s sea turtles, which leaves out what they are known as; children will be feverish trying to find it. Each page also gives a short paragraph on how forming this group helps the species. Some pages, but not all, cover additional facts about the animals, an inconsistency that is jarring. The true stars of the volume are the illustrations. Bright and cheerful scenes that look as if they were created from stamps show the adorable flocks, murmurations, and shoals. Starred words in the body of the text appear in a glossary at the end. While this beautiful book contains interesting information, the lack of an index makes it less than ideal for research.
VERDICT A charming but additional purchase.

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