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Crow Not Crow

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Tells the story of a child's first birding expedition on a golden autumn day. ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 7th 2018 by Cornell Lab Publishing Group (first published August 28th 2018)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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I've been doing some reading lately about the ways people who are not regularly exposed to nature have become blind to the differences in the denizens of the natural world, unable to tell the difference between animals and plants. Yolen's book strikes a friendly blow against this blindness by telling the story of a young girl who learns to differentiate between birds by first learning to identify crows. It's a simple story, told poetically, that also serves as a perfect introduction to birdwatch ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really lovely book .

A wonderful introduction to bird watching and identification.

The illustrations are appealing and attractive.

The added bird identification guide in the back is a lovely extra and the free bird I'd app details too.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
How DO you tell one black bird from another?? Young bird-watchers, and a lot of older ones, will benefit from this gentle story about a father helping a daughter to identify birds around her.

Lovely illustrations and helpful tips and a reassuring story.

This would be a great book for a classroom or story time especially with the wide pages and large illustrations My family have always been bird-watchers and I'm often astonished at the numbers of people who simply don't know the names of common bir
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great way to introduce birding to children. This book teaches them how to look at birds and note the details so that identifications can be made. It starts with the simple classification of Crow or Not Crow, comparing the crow to several.other black birds during a walk between a father and daughter.
A wonderful and accessible introduction to birding and being a naturalist in general.
Monique S. (The Ginger Librarian)
As someone who loves nature, birds, and birdwatching/birding, this is a book after my own heart!

“Crow Not Crow” tells the story of a father beginning to teach his young daughter to love and identify the many types of birds surrounding their home. In doing this, the girl and her father compare every bird they see to the American crow. This book has lovely illustrations and its text is easy for children ages 6+ to read. I especially love the bird identifications in the back of this book.

“Crow Not
Kaylynn Johnsen
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid
A lovely introduction into birding using the method developed by co-author Adam Stemple to teach his city-bred wife to bird. Crow not crow helps develope the the reader a desire to see, really see. The mother-son writing team allows us to follow a father-daughter team on the daughter's first birding adventure.

Elizabeth Dulemba, who dreamed of flying herself, illustrates this beautiful world.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I liked this quiet father-daughter outing to bird watch. The title is the method they use--"Crow not Crow" is new to me and it makes delightful sense. Yolen and her son, Adam Stemple, wrote this book together. Her husband/his father, David Stemple, was a well-known bird recordist who taught his family how to identify birds. Adam invented the "Crow not Crow" method of teaching bird identification for his beginning birder wife (city girl) how to identify birds.
The illustrations carry the story ge
Cindy Hudson
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When children know how to name the things they see in the world around them, it can be an important part of understanding how they fit into that world. Birds can be robins, crows, chickadees, or many other types. A picture book by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Crow Not Crow helps young readers understand the role of observance in learning how to identify and name the myriad birds they are likely to see in their daily lives.

In the book, a young girl goes birding with her dad. She brings along chil
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a really sweet and endearing take on an activity that many probably have not truly considered. I mean, we've all seen birds, but I know I haven't given an extreme look at them except for in 9th grade Biology class. The book teaches kids (and adults!) the "Crow, not Crow" method - where you look at birds and only decide whether they are a crow or not a crow, noting the differences between the mystery bird and a crow. Yolen and Stemple create a story of a young girl going out with her dad ...more
Natalie {I'd So Rather Be Reading}
Guest post by Jane HERE

I love gardening, flowers and birds... I kill 75% of what I garden. I buy WAY to many flowers from Hobby Lobby. And there are only two birds that I feel confident in identifying: a hummingbird and a crow.

Crow Not Crow was a sweet, simple introduction to the world of birding through the endearing perspective of a father-daughter outing.The simplicity and joy of identifying birds in nature was just great. I loved Crow Not Crow as a mother, as a birding novice and as a te
Heather Montgomery
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Depicting a father-daughter birding experience, Jane Yolen and her son Adam Stemple deftly share both a simple nature identification technique and the joy of passing a love for nature on to a child. Lovely illustrations by Elizabeth Dulemba bring life to the story. Back matter includes identification and behavioral characteristics, both useful and entertaining. Additional digital content is made available through QR codes.
R. C.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was not as helpful as I had hoped. I can see how for absolute beginners, asking if any bird is a crow, and articulating why not, might be helpful. This book suggests doing that and models it a small bit. I wish the author had taken it further. It is nice, though, just to see a tale of birding pitched to the preschool set.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, nature, growing-up, family
I love how this is a nature book, and a family one, but also a metaphor for beginning anything that's daunting. Just start by learning one thing for certain, one thing you know solidly, and go from there.

A sweet story with beautiful illustrations.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Always looking for beautiful teaching books for children and found this one that taught me! I love crows and this book sets forth a simple method to learn to identify birds...beginning with crows...perfect!
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting method for truly learning to see and identify birds. Makes jumping into a new arena of knowledge less intimidating. Kudos.
Lynn  Davidson
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a nicely illustrated, beautiful book, created from the actual bird watching technique of crow not crow, thought up by the author's son. Bird facts and pictures on the back pages of the book. ...more
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Simple story about learning how to look at birds and notice differences. Great STEM content. Will inspire kids to learn more about birds. Great back matter. Highly recommended for ages 4-6.
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
What I Loved: This book focuses on bird watching with a daughter and father. I loved that this past-time is clearly something that the father and daughter get to do together. Bird watching was a new concept to my daughter and she enjoyed the daughter learning from her father…Crow? Not Crow.

How I Felt: Bird watching is not something that my family spends time doing, so I wasn’t sure how my daughter would react to the book. She was fully invested, though! The writing was engaging and had my daught
A little girl goes out birding with her father for the first time, wondering if she'll ever be as good as her older brothers are at identifying birds. Her dad uses a special method to start teaching her about how to look at birds and what to look for. They spend some time watching a crow and he asks her to describe what she sees and hears, then they use the crow as a basis of comparison as they encounter other birds. Crow? Other birds may share some features, but not all of the ones that mean "c ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, 2018
A wonderful story of a father spending time with his daughter introducing birdwatching. There are several ways that Jane Yolen spins this story into something more. Her father teachers her to be observant so that she notices specifics and can use those specifics to identify a crow. From there they look at other birds and use her knowledge of identifying a crow to determine that other birds are not a crow. The daughter now can confidently say Crow or Not Crow and know there will be future birding ...more
Cynthia  Gutzwiller
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about a father teaching his son how to go birding. There are pages in the back of the book of "Not Crows". You might find yourself looking up in the sky or in a tree for crow not crows more often now. Fun times for one and all.
Dad took the boy birding. His brothers loved birding. All he could see were birds. His dad showed him a crow. He looked at it a long time. So very big it is with black wings. It's also has black legs, beak, and eyes. The next bird he saw had red me
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I signed up for the crow course at Cornell and am enjoying it. I want to share something from the course. After an eternity of librarian-ing, starting as a children's librarian, when a book, even a kid's book, is mentioned, I must immediately see the book. So when Jane Yolen's CROW NOT CROW was brought up, I found a copy in the Clevnet system and ordered it.

This is a delightful look at a dad taking his daughter out birding for the first time and teaching her to "see." It starts with a crow, and
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Really interesting concept to introduce a child (or adult!) to the world of birding. Pick a bird. Learn that bird. Then compare it against the others you see that day. Crow or Not Crow? Cardinal or Not Cardinal? And just keep adding new ones.

The book is a little bit dry, though I think it would be good for a kid the age of the one in the story (around 6 or 7). Thank goodness the back of the book showed what all the Not-Crows were, because I was starting to go nuts wondering!
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
How do you tell a crow from a starling? Or a red winged black bird from a brown headed cow bird?
When a young girl goes birdwatching with her father, she learns how to distinguish key features such as size, shape, eye color, and calls, in order to identify which birds she has found. The illustrations are beautiful and clarify each of the key field marks owned by the birds.

For a beginning bird watcher, this book has excellent back matter to help along.
Michelle Matash
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I thought it was a good read for students who around 2nd or 3rd grade. It shows that to learn something you need to really pay attention and differentiate certain characteristics. Although all birds seem the same to us they are all different just like humans. I thought this story had a really good message over all.
Joyce Ellis
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Somewhat reminiscent of Jane Yolen's Owl Moon, the story follows a girl and her father as she goes birding with him for the first time. She has very simple tasks at first--to learn to distinguish crows from other black birds--but looks forward to future bird-identifying excursions. Sweet father-daughter relationship comes through in the story. ...more
Amy Ingalls
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from BookSirens to review.

I loved this introduction to birding. It encourages the reader to really look closely, and provides a way for children to step into the wonderful world of birds. The information at the back is interesting as well.
A very sweet book about a father who takes his daughter out bird watching.
They start by recognizing a crow. Beautiful illustrations.

I received this review cooy for free in exchange for an honest review.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A parent teaches a child to begin to differentiate between birds and noticing details using the device of crow not crow.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more

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