Crowing over Crow Books

March 14, 2010 @ 7:52 pm | Filed under: Books, Crows

I am loving all these crow book suggestions you are sending me!

Here’s a roundup—

Ms. Mental Multivitamin (whose blog has put me in the path of many an excellent read) chimed in with a couple of titles and a link to her many posts singing the praises of crows:

If you haven’t read it already, check out Crow Planet (Lyanda Lynn Haupt) and (my favorite) Caw of the Wild (Barb Kirpluk).

Longtime Bonny Glen reader Kay recommended Crow Planet, too, so I’m eager to check it out.

LisaE of Shadybrook Acres writes:

There is a great chapter on Silverspot the crow in Wild Animals I Have Known. It made us look at crows in a whole new light.

That’s Ernest Thompson Seton; I think we have a copy around here somewhere.

Lindsay writes:

Have you seen Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen? We are just working our way through, and last night we read the letter from the Crow to the sparrow. All the letters are delightful, but so far, this is my favorite.

(Click her name to read her full comment, which includes a quote.)

Pam recalls Those Calculating Crows by Ali Wakefield, a picture book about crows who count, adding:

“It doesn’t get a good review and I remember not really enjoying reading it aloud but my boys liked it and it was worth a look in the library.”

(It’s like that sometimes, isn’t it? Not all books make good read-alouds.)

Su gives props to good old Slow Joe Crow from Fox in Socks; Penny in Vermont reminded me that Tasha Tudor had pet crows who served as models for drawings in several of her books; and Beth of Bookworm Journal gives a shout-out to Kaw, the pet crow of Taran in the Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander.

Fanny Harville asks,

Do you know Maxine Kumin’s story “Mittens in May” about a boy named Peter Day and the baby crow he saves and raises? It’s a sweet book.

I’m a fan of Kumin’s poetry (especially Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief) but I had no idea she had written any children’s stories. Very excited about this.

And Lori found Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study in a digital format!

In yesterday’s post (a reprint from 2007) I discussed at length a picture book we treasure: Johnny Crow’s Garden by Leslie Brooke. You can see the whole thing, illustrations and all (and what illustrations! ), at Project Gutenberg. (That’s Brooke’s charming Johnny Crow at the top of this post.)

Also, Alice reminded me of one of her family’s favorite crow stories: Jean Craighead George’s The Cry of the Crow.

I cawl that one fine-feathered reading list.

Links to my crow posts:
Cheered by Crows
Fascinating Live and Dead Things


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Comments

12 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. I had no idea that Maxine Kumin wrote children’s books either! (We stumbled on Mittens in May at a rummage sale years ago.) Wikipedia tells me that Kumin has written 12 children’s books, plus 4 more co-written with… Anne Sexton!!! Can this be true? I must immediately find them! I am dying to see what these two concocted.

  2. How about the crows that help same Mrs. Frisby’s family in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH? Still love that book.

  3. Longtime lurker and fan here, but I would like to chime in with a recommendation of Joan Aiken’s Arabel and Mortimer series
    http://www.joanaiken.com/pages/arabel_mortimer_series.html

    Mortimer isn’t technically a crow – a raven instead, but definitely worth getting to know :o)

    Nevermore!

  4. I was going to recommend _The Pie and the Patty-Pan_ by Beatrix Potter, but I realized that it’s a magpie in that story – is he close enough? There’s also a crow who gets his comeuppance in _The Sun Egg_ by Elsa Beskow. Her books are not very well known except in Waldorf circles, but they are *fabulous.*

  5. It’s true…I didn’t know about Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton either, but happily stumbled upon Joey and the Birthday Present (Kumin and Sexton) at Goodwill a few years ago! Illustrated by Evaline Ness (learned about her through another Goodwill find, Sam, Bangs & Moonshine). I didn’t know they did MORE books together! I’d love to find those.

  6. Barnaby Rudge!

  7. May I add to the list Crow Call by Lois Lowry. One of our recent library finds. I believe it was published last year. A gorgeously illustrated book. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time. And a touching father-daughter story.

  8. Crow Boy too, right?

  9. I don’t know if anyone has yet mentioned the beautiful picture book Merry Christmas, Merry Crow. It’s by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Jon Goodell. I reviewed it a few years back here (if anyone’s interested): http://www.epinions.com/content_285008694916. A really lovely book!

  10. Non fiction suggestion: King Solomon’s Ring by Konrad Lorenz. The author, a naturalist, keeps geese and jackdaws at home. Dan and I have just begun this but we are really enjoying it thus far. It comes highly reommended by a very trusted friend.

  11. Blacky the Crow by Thornton Burgess. For that matter, ANY book by Thornton Burgess. There are a whole bunch of short (2-3 pgs) chapters in his books which run about 22 chapters. The animals are somewhat anthropomorphized, but from what I recall when we visited the Thornton Burgess museum on Cape Cod when the 16 yr old was a toddler, Burgess’ observations of animal behaviors and characteristics are pretty accurate. They were all written in the early 1900’s for the author’s young son. Dover Press had them in economy versions last I knew. Now my 6 yr old and I are working through the books we have at home.

  12. Lissa, as long as you are counting crows, I’ll toss in some of my favorites (we have lots of crows and their magpie cousins on the farm),

    “Crow Country” by Mark Cocker, from the UK; I had to order my copy from BookDepository UK

    “Corvus: A Life with Birds” by Esther Woolfson, also from the UK but recently published over here, thank goodness

    And one of my favorite natural history writers, Bernd Heinrich, has “Mind of the Raven”

    From my childhood I seem to remember a story about a crow couple and a snake (and great illustrations), but I can’t for the life of me remember the title or author. It must have been a library book at one time because if it was one of my old childhood books we’d have read it at some point in the past few years!