The Little Moon Raven

Marcus Pfister, trans. from the German by Kathryn Bishop. Minedition (IPG, dist.), $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-988-824081-4
Pfister offers a somewhat gloomy parable in the story of a “puny” raven who’s ridiculed by larger, older birds. They refuse to play with him until he flies to the moon and back, claiming, “We used to do it every day, when we were your age.” Watching the brave fledgling take off for the moon, the narrator—one of the ravens complicit in the prank, who recounts the story as a long-ago memory—admits, “I should have stopped him. I should have told him it was a bad joke. But I said nothing.” After the young raven barely survives his attempt to reach the moon, the narrator confesses that neither he nor the others ever attempted the flight. But a mysterious “silver feather shining in the little raven’s wing,” which matches the gleaming foil accents used for the moon, underscores the bird’s determination in the face of adversity. With bright yellow beaks and gangly bodies painted in inky black, Pfister’s ravens pop from the white backdrops. Though heavy-handed in its messaging, the story should still prompt conversations about bullying and forgiveness. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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