The Crows of Pearblossom
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The Crows of Pearblossom

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  256 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Written in 1944 by Aldous Huxley as a Christmas gift for his niece, The Crows of Pearblossom tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Crow, who live in a cottonwood tree. The hungry Rattlesnake that lives at the bottom of the tree has a nasty habit of stealing Mrs. Crow's eggs before they can hatch, so Mr. Crow and his wise friend, Old Man Owl, devise a sneaky plan to trick him.

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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1944)
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Miriam
Aug 15, 2011 Miriam rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal haters
Shelves: picture
This edition had the least appealing-to-me illustrations, so naturally it was the one my library possessed. I can't say they didn't suit the story, though, only that I did not enjoy them. I found them vaguely disturbing, so in that sense they went perfectly! I'm glad Huxley mostly confined himself adult literature.

The background plot here includes the mother crow's eggs being eaten day after day by a snake, which is nature for you but may be a little upsetting for sensitive children. The relatio...more
Lily
This book was handed in as a donation for a book drive. I threw it away. No child should read shit like this, and here's why:
Mr. Crow is a dick who treats his wife like shit. He finds her in distress and asks her if she's forgotten not to eat too much, y'know, like a fucking child that's had too much ice cream. When she has a good idea, he tells her it's a bad idea, then goes to his buddy's house to see how he can use his wife's idea and claim it as his own, but not before telling her to shut up...more
Rosa Ramôa
A única história para crianças escrita por Aldous Huxley.
OS DOIS CORVOS
Para os filhos e para os pais.












PeaceTrain
The version I read was from the year 1967 and I cherish the story, in no small part to my father's reading of it and the voices he gave the characters. I still remember how we would sing the snake's song,

"I cannot fly, I have no wings; I cannot run, I have no legs; But I can creep where the black bird sings, and eat her speckled eggs, ha, ha; And eat her speckled eggs."

Because of the popularity of the book, every other review will include facts like, "the only children's book written by Aldo...more
Melissa
There are lots of inventive details here--I liked how the birds baked the eggs in the chimney and how the snake tied itself not just into knots but into a running bowline and a clove hitch. I love the illustrations, too--the curlers on Mrs Crow's head and the big black shiny eyes for the crows.

But the almost 70-year old (!) text has some offhand misogyny I can't quite get comfortable with. (Mr Crow to Mrs Crow: "You haven't been overeating again, have you?" "Your ideas are seldom good, I may ad...more
Mark
The Crows of Pearlblossom is the only children's story written Aldous Huxley, world-known author of Brave New World. After he and his wife moved to Llano, a desolate location in California's Mojave Desert, they like to spend time walking in the desert with their two nephews, Olivia and Siggy, while visiting them in nearby town called Pearblossom.

Aldous wrote The Crows of Pearlblossom in Christmas 1944 as a gift to Olivia, mentioning their neighbors Mr. & Mrs. Yost's house as the site of the...more
Robin Rousu
Exactly as child-friendly and developmentally appropriate a picture book as one would expect from the author of Brave New World. Mr. Crow, speaking to his wife: "All I said was that I didn't think your idea was a very good one. Your ideas are seldome good, I may add." There are some brief moments of humor in the writing, the story at the core of it all is a solid one, the illustrator did as well as they could with it, but, um, yikes. "Amelia, you talk too much. Keep your beak shut and get out of...more
Judy
I really enjoyed this. Watch me digress...

We are a family of raven and crow fans. The very first page sparked off an interesting discussion about crows and ravens and the colour of their eyes (here depicted as black) and the difference between Joan Aiken's description of Mortimer's black beady eyes and Quentin Blake's drawings of him with cartoon white eyes. We had a lovely time looking up ravens and crows and discovering that some do indeed have black, beady eyes whilst the Australian Raven has...more
Christina Martin
This is a great book written by Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World. It is a story about two crows who have trouble making a family because every time a new egg is laid, a hungry snake steals the eggs to eat them. The crows grow tired of not being able to start a family, so the father crow comes up with a plan with some help from a friend. Eventually the crows get their way and are left in peace from the snake. They are able to start the family for which they always wished.

This book is...more
Katrinka
This version of "The Crows of Pearblossom" has wonderful and bright illustrations and I like the overall moral message of cleverness triumphing over greed, dishonesty and poor manners, but, like many classic nursery rhymes we tell our children, it is a bit grim at the same time. Furthermore, I think the attitude exhibited toward the wife (accusing her of overeating, being over emotional and not being creative or intelligent), while probably reflective and consistent with the time it was written...more
Linda
This is such an odd review. I have before me a children's book that I enjoy for the pictures but I can't recommend it for young kids. My version of THE CROWS OF PEARBLOSSOM is the 1967 copyright hardback with Barbara Cooney as the illustrator. The pictures are done in shades of black, white, gray and green. They are pleasant to look at. I would recommend this older version to any mixed media artists who need motivation with nature.

THE CROWS OF PEARBLOSSOM is the only children's story ever writte...more
Morgan
This children's story caught my attention, since the author is Aldous Huxley and I had no idea he'd ever written such a work. This was written for his niece, Olivia, as a Christmas gift to her, and has long been out of print. Olivia brought the book to life again through the illustrations of Sophie Blackall, and a new generation of readers can read this book. It's also interesting to note that Pearblossom is the real-life location near where the Huxleys lived in California. The Yosts, mentioned...more
Barbara
It always fascinates me to hear about a literary or artistic treasure from the past being rediscovered. It also takes me out of my comfort zone to realize that authors known for particular works wrote other lesser known pieces for children, as is the case in this tale about a rattlesnake who gets his comeuppance. When Mrs. Crow catches the snake red-handed as he is swallowing another one of her eggs, she calls on her husband to solve the problem. He, in turn, turns to his friend, Old Man Owl, wh...more
Bookstork Buzz

The mystery of how Mrs. Crow’s eggs are disappearing is solved : it’s that sneaky Rattlesnake who lives in the cottonwood tree; he’s been eating them all before they can hatch. Poor Mrs. Crow is hysterical. Poor Mrs. Crow turns to her staidly (and very rude) Mr. Crow to solve the problem. Mr. Crow turns to his good friend Mr. Owl to do the smart thinking for him. And as smart as any owl is supposed to be, Mr. Owl hatches a crafty plan to save the unhatched eggs.

THE CROWS OF PEARBLOSSOM was writ...more
Raena Mceuin
This book tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Crow, whose eggs never hatch because the Rattlesnake living at the base of their tree keeps eating them. After the 297th eaten egg, the hopeful parents set out to kill the snake and enlist the help of their friend, Mr. Owl, who bakes mud into two stone eggs and paints them to resemble the Crows’ eggs. Upon eating them, the Rattlesnake is in so much pain that he beings to thrash about, tying himself in knots around the branches. Mrs. Crow goes merrily on...more
Beth Wood
I had a version of this book as a kid, the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club edition. The illustrations were by a different artist. I think the illustrations in this new version, which just came out, are delightful. I especially like Mrs. Crow's shopping list and the pink curlers in her hair.

This book was written by Aldous Huxley, which I didn't know as a kid, of course. I love that the crows trick the snake, although it is the owl who helps them to do so. I like the ending, where the snake ge...more
Margaret
Mar 25, 2011 Margaret rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Margaret by: Abrams
Although I was familiar with the fact that author Aldous Huxley wrote the well known Brave New World, I had not personally read any of his writing. Then to be introduced by a long out of print children's book that has made it's way back to the market is delightful. This book is witty and fun and the illustrations are vibrant and imaginative. There is a definite humor throughout. I can easily imagine my father chuckling as he reads this to the grandchildren. I'm quite certain it will be loved by...more
Pamela Pickering
Aug 19, 2008 Pamela Pickering rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pamela by: Mom
Another of one of my (as well as my brother's) all time favorite books as a child. My mother still hangs on to it. I remember an assignment in my high school drama class requiring us to read a children's story. I brought this book from home and my teacher and student teacher became quite excited. I didn't quite comprehend their excitement. I guess I am one of those rare people that haven't read much Huxley...er, I guess this my only Huxley.

As much as I enjoyed the story I don't know how parents...more
Tim
I'm not familiar enough with children's books to know whether this is an accurate representation of such books from the time period it was written in, but the difference in content between this and the more modern children's books that I remember from childhood is quite striking. The subject matter is rather dark, and the dialogue between Mr. and Mrs. Crow comes off as somewhat bitter and dismissive. While there is a "moral of the story," it's not presented in a positive and nurturing as in many...more
Darcy
I wanted this to be a grand allegory, but it felt more misogynistic and unenlightened from an author I usually consider cutting edge and forward thinking.
Robert
This is the kind of story I grew up reading, although I don't think I ever read this one. Apparently, it is the only children's story Huxley ever wrote. Good wholesome fun in this book.

A snake dines on Mrs. Crow's eggs daily. This frustrates her. She commands Mr. Crow to go down the snake hole to kill the snake. Yeah, that's not going to happen. So Mr. Crow visits the wise Mr. Owl. They hatch a plan to make clay eggs for the snake to eat. When he does, he gets a tummy ache. That solves him from...more
Doug Tattershall
There is good reason to hesitate before reading a children's book by an author used to writing to adults, but The Crows of Pearblossom works. The dated aspects of the story (like Mr. Crow and Old Man Owl listening to the evening concert on the radio) give the story charm for adult readers while the fate of Mr. Snake make it fun for children (and for snake-hating adults such as my wife, who showed no reaction to the book until the last page, and then she loved it). The illustrations in this new e...more
Sarah
I'd suggest reading this if you can find a copy.

Huxley’s only picture book is 38 pages long. Six pages contain only illustrations; still the pages are text heavy. Some humor, yet the topics are fairly creepy for a picture book. The two-tone pictures (dark green and black) often cover the entire spread. There is lack of continuity between many of the illustrations. This is an intriguing picture book, one that I enjoyed.
Jennifer
I actually read a different version-- with a different illustrator but could not find it on here. I read it to my students. I was soooooo excited for it, but I didn't think my students would share in such anticipation and enthusiasm. I anticipated I would read half in one day, and the second half in the next. Except my students voted and cheered to continue to the end. I was delighted. Thus the five stars
Hafidha
Lovely artwork, snarky tone, pretty sexist in that the wife is depicted as a fool for being female; don't know if it was intended or I just read him as such, but the husband crow was an insensitive guy, not as smart as he thinks he is. I give it three stars for being a bit of a riveting story about cleverness and greed.
Kelsey
A nice piece of history that can be studied for its historical implications. However, this should NOT be read to children. I understand that some people have fond memories of this book when they were children but there are far more fun, engaging picture books out there for children that do not include overtly sexist comments.
Molly
Love these illustrations! I think my favorite spread shows Mrs. Crow in her curlers and Mr. Crow and his buddy Old Man owl looking a bit sheepish.
Interesting story of comeuppance, which is a bit funny, a bit scary and all around good. Be sure to read the author's note about the origins of the Crows of Pearblossom.
Nathan Washor
What a crappy children's book! The father crow is such a jerk to his wife - I actually changed the words with a sharpie so I could read it to my daughter. The rest of the tale is cute and I'd give it four stars, but papa crow really shows his age (I guess the original was written 75 years ago).
Tyler
I know it is from a different time, but I really so no redeeming qualities to this piece of misogynistic trash. My daughter picked it up at our local bookstore and I read it to both of my daughters there. I was glad I hadn't bought it. I didn't need to say anything, they were both so disgusted.
Tara
Big chunks of text make unlikely for storytime. It is kinda weird that the crows have jobs like "Assistant Manager in the drugstore" but I guess they need to earn a living too. I think this one might be over the kids heads in general, but I did enjoy reading a picture book by Aldous Huxley.
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Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and es...more
More about Aldous Huxley...
Brave New World Brave New World/Brave New World Revisited The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell Island Brave New World Revisited

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