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A Rattle of Bones: A Halloween Book of Collective Nouns Hardcover – September, 1999

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Hardcover, September, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A babble of words muddles this holiday romp cum teaching tool, which splices a rhyming text with a set of collective nouns. As two trick-or-treaters wander "among the trees where creatures roam," menacing phrases ("a leer of jack-o'-lanterns," "a parliament of owls") float up around them in hand-lettering and disrupt the narrative. The collective nouns are colorful, more so than the nominal plot, and the two elements don't cohere. The smooth acrylic paintings offer a sophisticated palette and sharp perspectives, but otherwise traffic in conventional imagery. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4 Two children dress up for trick-or-treating and encounter a wide variety of creatures along the way. A brief rhyming narration takes brother and sister through the woods and home again, but it is the additional description of what they see that makes this a unique Halloween offering. Taken from several sources, these collective nouns are clever and intriguing: "a GRIMACE of masks," "a LEER of jack-o'-lanterns," "a BRIDGE of trolls," "a RATTLE of bones," and "a CACKLE of hyenas" are some of the descriptive words used in this holiday language lesson. Ink-and-acrylic paintings fill each double-page spread with nonthreatening, flat cartoon figures in muted shades of purple, green, gray, and, of course, black. This story lacks the brilliance of Ruth Heller's A Cache of Jewels (Grosset & Dunlap, 1987), but it is an unusual addition to holiday shelves and an inspiration for creative-writing projects. Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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