cover image Little Black Crow

Little Black Crow

Chris Raschka, Atheneum/Jackson, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-84601-4

Surrounded by blurry blue watercolor skies and wheat-brown daubs suggestive of autumn fields, a boy sits on a rail fence and talks to a small crow. At first, his rhyming questions seem simple: "Little black crow, where do you go?/ Where do you go in the cold white snow?" As the queries continue, readers may begin to consider the mysterious outdoor lives of animals and the things humans take for granted. The boy asks, "Is it enough to have feathers in all kinds of weathers?" as blue and brown slashes of rain whip around the crow. The crow, inked with an enormous beak and a comparatively tiny body, seems to grin but offers no reply. The boy also wonders about the crow's family ("Are you a boy like me?") and asks whether the crow might love "the little gray dove" perched next to him on a power line. Caldecott Medalist Raschka (The Hello Goodbye Window) leaves the questions unanswered and pictures the curious crow landing next to the boy at the close of this thought-provoking, nature-centered reflection. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)