Thursday, January 15, 2009
VBT hosts Author Deborah Ramos
An Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras by Deborah Ramos
They’re compelling. They’re clever. They’re collective nouns! An Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras takes the reader on a lively tour of animal group names from A to Z, a fresh approach to collective nouns, presenting only the most unique and colorful groups. The group naming of beasts dates back to 15th century Medieval England when hunters needed to know the names of their quarry. Sidebars explain why wolves hunt in packs, how zebras protect themselves, and how far butterflies travel in the winter. The adventure begins with the letter A. An Aarmory of Aardvarks, shy and nocturnal, leads us to the letter B. A Brood of Jellyfish, fluid and transparent, floats across the page to the letter C. A Crash of Rhinos, with keen hearing and poor eyesight, charges their way to the letter D. A Drift of Swine, stout and thick skinned, wallows their way to the letter E. Letter by letter animals crash, flutter and quiver across the pages. Wait until you see what’s heating up with the letter X!
An Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras offers an imaginative combination of learning and visual pleasure. It is designed to appeal to a wide range of ages, from five to adult. The language is simple and fast paced keeping the readers attention all the way to the letter Z. Included is a brief history of the group naming of animals and several fact-filled sidebars. Educators and parents can utilize Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras as a teaching tool to stimulate topics such as why animals live in groups, or how they behave within their environment. Children and students can do further research to discover more collective nouns, and challenge their creativity to come up with their own. Increase a child’s vocabulary, imagination, and desire to learn by stocking your shelves with An Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras, a must have for any bookstore, library, or classroom.
Welcome, Deborah, here a a few questions from our bloggers.
1. Why did you write about collective nouns?
I was writing a story about Africa, and in my research, I found a website that listed animals in alphabetical order, along with their group name. It sparked an interest, and I dug deeper. I thought it would be more fun to create a list of group names in alphabetical order. And the search began. It was fun for me, and I learned a lot about collective nouns and animals. Group names can bring to mind such interesting images, such as a prickling of porcupines; you can almost FEEL those, pokey, prickly quills.
2. What is your favorite collective noun?
It’s hard to say, there’s so many. But I think the most interesting one is an Escargatoire of Snails. I imagine a little snail party crawling in circles on a plate, oozing in an out of butter pats and garlic cloves. I love a Pandemonium of Parrots; can’t you just hear them squawking in the trees? What an image that conjures up.
3. What would your collective noun be for readers enjoying your book?
Now that’s a challenge. How about a Richness of Readers, a Bunch of Booklovers, or a Brigade of Bookworms.
4. Do you have lots of animals?
I’ve always had pets growing up. And I have quite a collection now. I have two cats, two noisy parakeets, a variety of tropical fish, and a ball python named Mercury. Mercury sheds his skin and donates it to my art projects.
5. What’s next for you?
I have works in progress I need to finish and stories I need to polish up. I have new ideas that need to be put on paper before I forget. I’m also working on two poetry chapbooks.
If you wish to travel across the pages of An Aarmory of Aardvarks, A Zeal of Zebras, you can pre-order the book directly from the publisher, WindstormCreative at: