Review Blog

May 03 2016

There is a tribe of kids by Lane Smith

cover image

Two Hoots (Pan Macmillan), 2016. ISBN 9781509812882
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Wordplay. Curiosity. Belonging. Adventure. Readers will be introduced to the words which signify a group of things through this imaginative and joyous book about finding where you belong. From the title page, readers will see the plural for a group of kid goats, tribe, and be encouraged to think about why this word suits the animal so well, although it also suggests another group which children may understand. As the young girl leaves the kids, she sees a penguin and this small motif at the bottom of the page heralds the animal that is overleaf. And sure enough, a group of penguins is called a colony. This delightful way of introducing the group word for many things in our plant and animal world will encourage thought and discussion amongst the readers. So we see a smack of jellyfish, an unkindness of ravens, a bed of clams, a turn of turtles amongst the twenty or so phrases, coming in full circle to a tribe of kids at the end, with not a goat in sight. Readers will ponder too, the use of past tense on all pages except the last. An enigma to get their teeth into.
Children will delight in seeing the words and what makes up these groups and see for themselves where they belong. The wonderful illustrations keep pace with the writing as each scene is depicted using mixed media: coloured pencil, oil and acrylic paint as well as digital imaging creating a mottled appearance to the pages. Each page will cause sighs and wonder from the audience as the images appear before their eyes. I can imagine a class trying out some of the methods themselves, using different group words after reading the book.
Fran Knight

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