cover image Crow and Hawk: A Traditional Pueblo Indian Story

Crow and Hawk: A Traditional Pueblo Indian Story

. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200257-2

Abandoned babies, birth mothers vying with adoptive mothers for custody, a tearful judgment--this Pueblo story has all the ingredients of a bad made-for-TV movie. When Crow abandons her nest, Hawk moves in to care for the eggs, then stays to tend the hatchlings. When Crow finally returns to claim her youngsters, Hawk responds that she is their true mother because she has raised them. Eagle, King of the Birds, sides with Hawk and bluntly tells a crying Crow that ``this is the way it must be. You left the nest; you have lost the children.'' Just as distressing as the cheerless story, though, is the overstimulating chaos of pattern, color and scenes-within-scenes in Clementson's cut-paper collages. In contrast to the restraint he showed in the vibrant illustrations for How Giraffe Got Such a Long Neck (which Rosen also wrote), there is neither visual hierarchy in these pictures nor an easy point of entry for the young audience. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)