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A Storytelling of Ravens

Written by Kyle Lukoff

Illustrated by Natalie Nelson

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554989133
  • from grade K to grade 4
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Concepts / Words



Publication Date May 01, 2018

A sloth of bears, a smack of jellyfish, a nuisance of cats — these are some of the surprising and idiosyncratic names we have for groups of animals. Inspired by the evocative possibilities of collective nouns, also called “terms of venery,” author Kyle Lukoff and illustrator Natalie Nelson have created a picture book full of clever wordplay and delightful illustrations. Each spread features a nugget of a story using a particular term, which is accompanied by a collage illustration that serves as the visual punch line.

But where did these unusual names come from? Many of them can be traced back to a book on hunting, hawking and heraldry, printed in 1486 — the Book of St. Albans, which has been reproduced many times since.

A Storytelling of Ravens provides a unique opportunity to explore and rejoice in the oddities of the English language.


Kyle Lukoff

Kyle Lukoff has worked at the intersection of books and people for over half his life, first as a bookseller and later as a school librarian, reviewer, awards juror, and contributor to professional publications. A Storytelling of Ravens is his first picture book. A confirmed bachelor, Kyle lives in a Brooklyn apartment filled with books.

Natalie Nelson

Natalie Nelson's illustrations have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. She is the illustrator of The King of the Birds, written by Acree Graham Macam, and Uncle Holland, written by JonArno Lawson. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband.


Praise for The King of the Birds, illustrated by Natalie Nelson:

“The story and art are lighthearted and whimsical...” Horn Book

“Delightful illustrations lend humor and charm to an already wonderful story.” Midwest Book Review

“This quirky-but-true story is nothing short of charming.” Booklist


Star Review

"Offbeat nonsense humor of the highest order: not to be missed." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"In this charming tribute to the quirkiness of collective nouns, playful artwork and clever captions invite children of all ages to contemplate a variety of amusing scenarios illustrated in bright colors and bold patterns." Foreword, STARRED REVIEW

"Mixed-media graphic style illustrations are humorous and bright. . . . This is a quick read for younger middle grade readers looking for slightly offbeat mysteries. A solid purchase for larger collections." School Library Journal

"The pairing of Kyle Lukoff’s witty wordplay and Natalie Nelson’s colorful, imaginatively detailed illustrations . . . offers a playful exploration . . ." International Literacy Association