Allowing children the freedom to play with words gives them a better understanding of language, according to author Patricia Mullins.
The Melbourne-based creator of the popular picture book A Crash of Rhinos made up many of the collective nouns used to describe her vibrant animal illustrations.
Included with the centuries-old "murder of crows" and "conspiracy of ravens" are her own descriptions, such as a "cacophony of cockatoos".
Mullins was in Perth recently for workshops with children as part of the State Library's Better Beginnings literacy program.
Many of her illustrations from the book are on display at the library until April 7.
She said it was vital that children and adults shared books from a very early age, which was one reason she tried to make her artworks appeal to all ages.
Even though many collective nouns in her book were traditional, she said someone made them up.
"Mine are just a bit newer than the others, but it's all about appropriate words," Mullins said.
"It's great to be able to play with language like that, rather than children or teachers thinking they have to stick to traditional words."By doing that they get to understand more about language, about what's possible and why things are what they are."
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