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|There is a tribe of kids|
Author: Smith, Lane
Simple text follows a young boy and the many animals he meets on his adventure through the jungle.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (00/04/16)
Booklist (+) (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/16)
The Hornbook (00/07/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2016 *Starred Review* Clad in a leafy tunic and little stick horns, a boy embraces a blue mountain goat before it wanders up a nearby cliff. Left alone, he casts off his horns and wanders on until running into a penguin, who leads him to a penguin colony. This is the first of many groups that the boy joins in Smith’s tribute to collective nouns. A smack of jellyfish, a parade of elephants, an unkindness of ravens, a turn of turtles—all are lushly depicted in nearly wordless spreads in which the boy frolics with his animal comrades. The Caldecott Honor Book author-illustrator (Grandpa Green, 2011) uses textured, jewel-toned illustrations that look almost batiked, and incorporates panels to capture each scene’s movement as the boy tries to mimic his surroundings. It isn’t only animals that appear en masse: a formation of rocks and a growth of plants are seen as well. Even Smith’s more creative offerings—a “sprinkle of lightning bugs” and an “ocean of blue,” for instance—work within the simple story, though some might balk at the intermingling of established terminologies and poetics. Each grouping carries only the phrase, “There was a . . . ,” yet the book’s pages cover an incredible swath of ground. The result is a kaleidoscopic look at nature, imbued with a playful love of language that young readers can’t fail to embrace. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A two-time Caldecott honoree, Smith also knows how to tell a story kids will love. Don’t expect this to linger on your smack of shelves. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 A boy clad only in leaves makes friends, sequentially, with a colony of penguins, a pod of whales, a smack of jellyfish, and other collective nouns as he travels. After a contemplative night under a family of stars and an ocean of blue, he finds a trail of shells, which leads him to a tribe of kids, who embrace him and eagerly participate as he acts out the story of his journey. The text, which is a sequence of expletive constructions (“There was a parade of elephants. There was a troop of monkeys”), becomes stale with excessive repetition, and the collective nouns vary muddlingly from technical to artistic. The story really lies in the art, though, as the mixed-media illustrations, often divided into panels, show our hero joining up with various animal groups and then departing from them; mottled textures and a subdued earthtoned palette provide an organic feel as the kid wanders the globe. There are comic touches in the boy’s relationship with his temporary pals (even on hands and knees he speeds past the turtles; his musical troop of monkeys gets faced down by an imperious band of gorillas) and some moments of wonder as the boy faces the wide world on his own. While it doesn’t hang together as well as it might, audiences may enjoy decoding the story in the art and the final celebratory kid collective. DS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.