A drove of bullocks and A filth of starlings

publication date: Oct 12, 2010
author/source: Alex Bell
A drove of bullocksThere's something deliciously old school about this pair of picture books from Patrick George Publishers. Both A filth of starlings and A drove of bullocks are rendered in a crisp, blocky but colourful fashion that's part computer-generated, part a throwback to the glorious picture books of our youth (or so we remember).

The publisher is actually a graphic design agency, who put together children's books on the side as a way of showcasing their graphic skills. Collective nouns are an ideal subject – highly unusual and ripe for a variety of visual treatments. Each book is therefore a rich trip through some of the odder aspects of animal classification.

A filfth of starlingsIt also means that a large chunk of the subject matter is somewhat lost on Toby, nearly six, as he simply doesn't (yet) have the vocabulary to process why a "smack" of jellyfish or a "murder" of crows should be seen as quite so unusual.

Nonetheless, with their pithy descriptions and beautiful pictures, I think A drove of bullocks and A filth of starlings will be a big hit with the fact-hungry primary school set, meaning that there are many years of life ahead of them.

A drove of bullocks: 1 and  A filth of starlings: 1 are available from Amazon.