As the Crow Flies

Sheila Keenan, Author, Kevin Duggan, Illustrator
Sheila Keenan, illus. by Kevin Duggan. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-312-62156-8
Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4668-2244-3
Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4668-2245-0
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 40 pages - 978-1-4668-2246-7
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Books about humans observing animals are common; this book turns the tables, imagining crows watching us. “Mean­while, you don’t have a clue:/ We’ve got our bird’s eye trained on you,” writes Keenan (Greetings from the 50 States) as a crow is shown taking food out of a dog’s bowl right in front of the dog—it’s leashed, the clever bird knows. First-time illustrator Duggan’s images mix static calm with dynamism, tranquil cityscapes with speeding cars. His portraits of crows and their antics are faithful and careful, and he makes especially effective use of panels to convey sequences of events. It’s more of a naturalist’s journal than a nonfiction reference—the scenes were inspired by crow behavior the husband-and-wife team witnessed firsthand. One series of panels shows a crow in flight carrying, dropping, and recapturing a plastic straw, attesting to the birds’ startling capacity for play: “Garbage that you leave behind/ is just the game we had in mind.” Read­ers should look more closely at crows after they read Keenan and Duggan’s book, but not before lingering over the illustrations. Ages 4–6. (Sept.)
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