Subtitled “a compilation of aquatic collective nouns”, this is yet another sensational addition to the PatrickGeorge series of ‘collective noun’ books. 

Demonstrating the dual meanings of 20 of the waters most playful collective groupings, this book is a colourful feast of conceptual acrobatics – a varied ‘array’ of eels hang from a tie hanger, a ‘fever’ of stingrays push the thermometer’s mercury north, while a ‘raft’ of sea otters are literally tied together with a sail-and-mast set aloft (the otters don’t look that thrilled, but they do appear to function quite effectively as a raft…).

The illustrations demand a second, third and often fourth consideration to unlock the sometimes subtle links, but each is backed up by a few sentences that enlighten us as to why each species have garnered their collective moniker. Thus, to explain a bushel of crabs, the authors speculate that “in Maryland, USA, they catch Atlantic blue crabs by the bushel – a basket that holds up to 70 crabs – and fill up to 300 bushels a day.”

With the bold and colourful illustrations we have come to expect of PatrickGeorge, this book delivers yet more of the graphic fun and trickery of which they are masters

With colours, shapes, silhouettes and concepts that demand a more lateral approach by the reader, there is something here for every age group.  Toddlers will be inspired by the colours, naming the shapes as well as the different fish and animals, while older children will appreciate the up-to-the-minute visual humour (the ‘pod’ of dolphins  well as the descriptions of what has inspired these collective nouns.