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The Crows of Pearblossom

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  434 Ratings  ·  99 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. 

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1944)
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May 24, 2016 Melki rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, birds
The Crows have a nice nest in a cottonwood tree. They're trying to start a family, but their pesky downstairs neighbor just happens to be a rattlesnake with a hankering for freshly laid eggs. After a martini and a discussion with his wife, Mr. Crow visits wise Old Man Owl, whoo-whoo hatches a plan to solve their snake problem for good.


This seems to be a pretty well despised book. Hmm . . . I rather enjoyed it. The biggest bone of contention is the way Mr. Crow treats his wife. Yep - he is a re
Aug 09, 2009 Miriam rated it it was ok
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
Apr 10, 2013 Lily rated it did not like it
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
Rosa Ramôa
Apr 02, 2014 Rosa Ramôa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A única história para crianças escrita por Aldous Huxley.
Para os filhos e para os pais.

May 05, 2016 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
British novelist Aldous Huxley is nearly synonymous with Brave New World, a book often categorized as young-adult fare, but nothing he wrote is like The Crows of Pearblossom. A Christmas gift written for his niece Olivia in 1944, this small book is an original fable that nonetheless feels familiar (isn't that the way of fables?), and has been illustrated by two Caldecott Medal winners: Barbara Cooney (who won two Caldecott Medals by herself) in 1967, and Sophie Blackall in 2011. The story is a ...more
May 05, 2016 Josiah rated it it was ok
British novelist Aldous Huxley is nearly synonymous with Brave New World, a book often categorized as young-adult fare, but nothing he wrote is like The Crows of Pearblossom. A Christmas gift written for his niece Olivia in 1944, this small book is an original fable that nonetheless feels familiar (isn't that the way of fables?), and has been illustrated by two Caldecott Medal winners: Barbara Cooney (who won two Caldecott Medals by herself) in 1967, and Sophie Blackall in 2011. The story is a ...more
Feb 14, 2017 Andreea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Nimic din lumea nouă a lui Huxley nu se regăsește în această cărticică. Doar o mamă cioară care nu putea să aibă și ea un pui pentru că un șarpe impertinent îi fura în fiecare dimineață oul - la micul dejun. Totuși, fapta rea are consecințe, iar soluția nu e violența. O mică lecție despre puterea celui slab, care stă în înțelepciune, nu în forță.

Recomandat pentru 3-6 ani.
Apr 01, 2012 PeaceTrain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
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
Aug 25, 2016 Kurtlu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hınzırca ve eğlenceli öyküsüne rağmen elimdeki baskısının resimleri hayli sevimsiz. yine de oğlum da ben de kitabı çok sevdik
Aug 03, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
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
Jun 08, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
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
Robin Rousu
Aug 10, 2011 Robin Rousu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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
Kelliott Smith
May 09, 2017 Kelliott Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a book for children unless they're old enough to recognize the humor in the seemingly atrocious character of Mr. Crow. This story was written almost 100 years ago by one of our greatest dystopian storytellers. I'd have been disappointed if it were a tale of fluff. There is a lot to be analyzed and discussed within this text, including gender roles and relationships, however, consider that this story was written as a Christmas gift to Huxley's niece. It was published posthumously and w ...more
Margaret Chind
Feb 11, 2011 Margaret Chind rated it liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: Abrams

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama. 

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 grandchil
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
Bookstork Buzz
Oct 23, 2013 Bookstork Buzz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book

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.

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
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
Rebecca Sharp
Jun 12, 2016 Rebecca Sharp rated it really liked it
I wish Goodreads was like Audible in their rating system. It would be helpful for picture books like this in that you could give one separate rating for story and another for illustration.

That being said, my 4 stars are the average between 3 stars for the story and 5 stars for the illustrations. I had the pleasure of meeting Sophie Blackall at the Texas Library Association conference. She was warm and charming and I think she's immensely talented. This book is beautiful and has such amazing litt
Mar 10, 2012 Katrinka rated it liked it
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
Raena Mceuin
Nov 25, 2013 Raena Mceuin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re
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
Oct 15, 2011 Morgan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
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
Pamela Pickering
Aug 19, 2008 Pamela Pickering rated it it was amazing  ·  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, I guess this my only Huxley.

As much as I enjoyed the story I don't know how parents
Feb 08, 2017 G-E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
La 4e de couverture résume bien cette petite histoire. «L’unique histoire pour enfants écrite par Aldous Huxley. Un conte à la saveur classique... et à l’humour mordant!»
Beth Wood
Nov 04, 2011 Beth Wood rated it really liked it
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
Mar 27, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, fiction
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
Dec 27, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, fiction, 4-7, beetle, snake, own
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
Jan 28, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Came across this as I was shelf-reading at work. I could not imagine the person who wrote "A Brave New World" writing a children's book, so of course I had to read it.

The basic story of the birds outsmarting the snake who had been eating their eggs could have been a good one, but is ruined by the male bird's Archie Bunker-esque treatment of his mate. He is constantly telling her to be quiet & putting her down, basically telling her to shut-up because she is too stupid. I would never let my k
Doug Tattershall
Jul 29, 2011 Doug Tattershall rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
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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
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