A Dignity of Dragons

A Dignity of Dragons: Collective Nouns for Magical Beasts by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli

Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (May 3, 2010)

Recommended age: 4 & up

In a nutshell: My dear friend Melissa over at Julia’s Bookbag was the one resoponsible for introducing me to this beautiful book. Thank you, Melissa! I placed an order for it to be added to the library’s collection a couple months ago and currently have a $2 late fee, because I refuse to return it! (Yes, people who work in libraries have overdue books, late fees, and sadly have to pay for those late fees.) I keep pondering over when to return it and always agree to, “Just one more day…”

The idea for A Dignity of Dragons came about when author Jacqueline K. Ogburn’s editor asked, “What do you call a group of unicorns?” This book was her answer. It begins with this introduction:

“Everyone has heard of groups of animals- a pride of lions, a charm of hummingbirds, a school of fish. If you came upon magical beasts gathered together, what would you call them? Perhaps you would be lucky enough to see…”

Within it’s pages, the reader finds a vocabulary of clever nouns for groupings of magical creatures paired with bold and whimsical illustrations by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Among a few of my favorite gatherings include:

A dignity of dragons,
A riddle of sphinx,
A resurrection of phoenix,
A continent of kracken,

A splash of mermaids,
A flurry of yetis,
A pandemonium of fauns,

A grace of unicorns,
A chord of sirens,
A howling of werewolves.

Oh, and these two-page spreads of soft, dreamy illustrations! I couldn’t not include a few of these…

In the back of the book is a index of the creatures mentioned in the book, each explained with a 2-3 sentence definition and the country of origin.

Alas, I have finally convinced myself to return A Dignity of Dragons to the library for one very good reason: it’s too good not to share. Be sure to check it out!

Perfect for: The lover of all things fantasy and mythology— Especially, magical creatures. Also would be great for Language Arts teachers looking for inspiration for teaching collective nouns in their classroom.

Don’t take my word for it: Julia’s Bookbag, You Know, For Kids


3 Responses to “A Dignity of Dragons”

  1. Hey, thank YOU for reminding me that I never got around to buying this (after holding it hostage from the library for almost 6 months 😉 — this one needs to be in our permanent collection. I’ve tried to narrow down which is my favorite page. GAH! I just can’t. They are all so amazing.

    • Rebecca says:

      I’m going to get it for L (and myself) for Xmas!! It’s awesome and wouldn’t have know it ever existed if it weren’t for you!


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