A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings: Quirky Collective Nouns of the Animal Kingdom by Matt Sewell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Humans have always had a natural desire to collect and group things together. It works well for domesticated animals, where people are used to talking about a herd of cows, or a flock of sheep. But how do you collate wild animals and birds? Should they all be flocks and herds? Thankfully human imagination has gone to work on this and come up with a whole host of rich and interesting names for all species of animals.
Matt Sewell has collected together all the collective nouns for all manner of animals who inhabit land, sea and air. As well as the titled, A Charm of Goldfinches and the well-known Murder of Crows he introduces to us the less common quarrel of sparrows, a quiver of cobras, a harem of seals and deceit of lapwings. Alongside each collective noun is a delightful watercolour of the animals and a little explanation of the origins of the noun.
I really liked this enchanting little book with its colourful bold artwork and Sewell’s charming prose but if there was one minor flaw was it too brief.
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