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A Cache of Jewels and other Collective Nouns
by Ruth Heller

This exploration of the 'world' of collective nouns starts by defining what there are, then gives 25 vibrantly illustrated examples (ie: bunch of bananas, batch of bread...)  The Children's Book Review Service described this book as "highly informative and lushly, colorfully, and realistically illustrated. An unbeatable combination for pleasure and learning." We totally agree!

Heller picked out some good collective nouns for teaching this concept. Many of the collective nouns used will be familiar to your students, but Heller does include some unusual ones (ie: gam of whales). It seems that many books and webpages about collective nouns seem to be particularly enthralled with the really peculiar collective nouns -- the ones that make you stop and say "really?"  That may be fun for adults to read through, but when you are trying to introduce this concept to kids who've never heard of collective nouns before, 'common' is a lot more helpful than 'obscure'.  So kudos to Heller on that front!

Truthfully, before we saw this book in person, we wondered why people liked it so much.  Merely judging the book by it's cover, It seemed to be kind of dated looking. However, when we finally viewed in person -- in actual size -- we "got" it.  The text is clear, the nouns lesson is effective, and the illustrations really are quite striking!

This book was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists title and it is part of the "World of Language" series, which focuses on language arts topics and includes almost a dozen books.

Reading Levels for A Cache of Jewels

Interest Level:  Grade 1-4    /    Lexile Measure:  420    /    DRA Level: 30    /    Guided Reading Level: N

Below are sample spreads from inside
A Cache of Jewels: and Other Collective Nouns. While our little sample pages give a glimpse at the detail and vibrancy of the illustrations, you really do need to see them in actual size to fully appreciate them. (We know the point of this book is to teach about collective nouns, but we can't help but talk on and on about the illustrations. With children's books, it seems it's always the illustrations that pull us in! :)

Where to now?

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Ruth Heller books (World of Language)