Tuesday, November 30, 2010


If it wouldn't completely destroy it, I would just tear this book apart in seconds. Not because I don't care for it, but because I would absolutely love to have some of these illustrations framed and hung on my walls. Leo Timmers is such a genius with his illustrations.  Gimme, gimme. Ah, well, I couldn't destroy a book with such a cute story behind these wonderful illustrations, so we'll move onto that.

Crow is a friendly, fun bird. In spite of his personality, he is also one of the loneliest birds around.  Sure, he's as friendly as they come, but the other birds won't get close enough to discover that for themselves. Crow sports jet black feathers, with a very large, curved black beak, black legs and a tuft of black feathers at the tip of his noggin. The other birds are positive that a creature as dark as this must have a black heart to match, and so they flee from him with pounding hearts.   

Crow feels sad and depressed about his appearance, so he hatches a plan and quickly gathers the necessary supplies. He paints his feathers blue and yellow so that he looks just like a finch! When that fails, Crow breaks out the pail of green and becomes a parakeet. And finally, he uses gray and pink to make himself look like a chickadee. With each new bird "costume" the other birds still flee.  Poor Crow cries so hard that all the paint washes clear away.

Now that he has returned to his usual black visage, the other birds flock to him ... to say thanks. They are grateful that his grim appearance chased away "that hideous chickadee, that scary parakeet and that creepy finch."  Crow's plan did work, in a roundabout way.

So, yes, in addition to the loveliness of the art, there are several good messages wrapped up in here. The big weeping bird is a great way to get across that you can't always judge a person (bird) by their appearance. A second point is that there's no point in trying to make yourself be someone you're not.  Morals, lessons, awesome illustrated birds, what else could you ask for?

Review copy provided by Clavis. 

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