A coven of witches stirs up the Great Brungle Stew with a variety of collective nouns to summon Mr. Brungle, the “wickedly vile” heartthrob of “the witch with a wart,” in this offering from India.
“A QUIVER OF COBRAS, / Shoot them in straight. / From A LOUNGE OF LIZARDS / Add exactly eight! // Make sure to toss in / A MISCHIEF OF MICE. / Or just one big rat / Is sure to suffice.” Interesting and unusual collective nouns for different animals are written in uppercase type, while the rest of the text is set in standard fashion. The rhymes of the quatrains as well as the meter are occasionally inconsistent. Illustrations are darkly colorful, with the many animals represented fairly realistically, while the witches, with brown skin and white hair, sport long, pointy noses and sparse teeth. Their charm delights (though it may need some practice before reading aloud): “Tremple Gemple Fever Sticks / Pimple Poxile Psittacosis / Frungle Brungle, Where Are You? / Appear Now! Shimshamshoo!” When the spell does not work, one of the witch sisters adds the last essential ingredient at midnight, and what appears? The titular tangle of brungles! The collective nouns range far and wide, as the witches toss in a kaleidoscope of butterflies, a clew of worms, a paddle of ducks, and many more.
An offbeat blend of education and mayhem, themed just right for Halloween. (Picture book. 5-8)