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Little Black Crow

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Picture a sky
as big as all outdoors,
a fence disappearing over a hill,
a crow then appearing,
a boy looking up,
watching, wondering.
Not much more than a moment
but the meeting
lofts a rush of childhood questions—
27 in all—inspiring answers
as big as all outdoors.

Caldecott medalist Chris Raschka,
himself the boy perhaps,
has created a book in the spares
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published June 7th 2010)
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Little Black Crow: An Adorable Lesson In Empathy
A Review By: Amelia

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I have major empathy output for pretty much everyone on Earth. Stray cats on the street? Just thinking about how cold they must get in the winter is enough to bring tears to my eyes. A beautiful tree gets cut down for no reason? I can almost feel the chainsaw myself. A child gets scolded for nothing more than asking a si
A little boy sits on a fence and wonders about the life of a little crow. Where does the crow go in the snow? Where does it go in a storm? Who does it meet? Does it ever complain about the cold and wet? How does it sleep? And most vital of all, is it really a boy, like him with similar feelings and wonders? Raschka takes his spare verse and asks deep questions about animals and their relationship to humans. Through it all, his watercolor images move, transitioning as the book continues from a bl ...more
A gentle, reflective book for kids that would work for older children at storytime but would be even better one on one. The pastel illustrations would be difficult to see if you had a large storytime group. This book would be great to create dialogue between a parent and child.

Summary from Publishers Weekly: 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 simpl
Ever since I read - with a good degree of horror and confusion - Chris Raschka's thankfully out-of-print Arlene Sardine I have been wary of picking up another book of his. I find there's enough that's out of sorts with the world, which perhaps explains my reluctance at having to be faced with uncomfortable visual mysteries in art, which is what a lot of Chris Raschka's art is like in my experience: high energy, larger than life, and a little insane. Perhaps some would take this as a compliment! ...more
2011 Zolotow Highly Recommended Book

I enjoyed the watercolor illustrations with the calligraphic-looking crow flying around. I think the text may be an example of an attempt at using rhyme and rhythm that just falls flat, however. It could still be good for a storytime about birds though, especially for littles.
Allison Fortunato
I liked this book because it was a poem. I really like to read to poems. I also liked how the colors of the pages changed into what seemed like a sunset by the end of the story. I thought that was a really interesting feature in the story.
Dimity Powell
A beautifully illustrated introspective look at how nature might perceive us and itself. I'm not fond of crows per se but enjoyed the way Raschka's gentle simple verse provided plenty of platforms for discussion with young readers.
Dylan McHenry
I love the way that Chris Raschka encourages children to explore and ask questions of the world around them. This is a great thing to teach to children. I hope that I can use this to encourage my students to critically think.
A little boy looks up at the little black crow in the sky and wonders about him, what he does, how he feels, where he goes, whom he meets, etc.

This book features some very unique watercolor illustrations.
The text rhymes and features a lot of repetition, which might make it a good fit for beginning readers. It is written completely as a series of questions to little black crow, which is a unique form of writing and could be used to highlight this.

It could be used to address relating to others, a
The latest book from the Caldecott medalist follows a young boy as he wonders about the life of crow. -- “Little black crow, where do you go in the cold white snow?” The book expertly captures the curiosity and wonderment of being a child, as the boy’s questions progress to wondering about the crow’s family to whom he loves, to whether or not the crow ever wonders about boys like him. This is a quieter book than many of Raschka’s - with watercolor illustrations in muted tones that match the spar ...more
Jess Brown
Aw--I really like this one! Bold illustrations done in watercolor and ink make this another great one from Chris Raschka. What I like best about this book is the series of questions that it poses, without really giving any answers. It invites the child to answer and to wonder, and I love that it wanders without any real resolution, except that in the end the little boy and the crow find each other. This is a great one to use for those preschool kids who are old enough to understand how to make p ...more
Oh, if we could all just live like the little black crow...great theme of relying on God for our future.
boy wonders about life from crow's point of view
true empathy can't be learned from a book at age 4-7
Rebecca Ann
Raschka strikes me as an amazing artist and a below average storyteller. I love his illustrations in this (as always). The muted brown, grey, blue, etc give the story a lonely feeling, and the simplistic, watercolor sketches are unique. In the story, a child wonders about the life of a little black crow, but comes to no real conclusion. I'm not sure it's intended this way, but it seemed to have a double meaning about how even people who seem very different from you can actually be much the same. ...more
While I loved the ink work in Little Black Crow I found the repetitive rhyming somewhat tiring. Mostly it's questions by a white boy sitting on a fence "to" a crow he sees flying around. I found it too bad also that the crow was gendered by the boy even though there was no indication that it was a boy (and that a later picture showing the "who do you love" was drawn so as to indicate femininity in the turtle dove). While I don't think it's bad, it didn't seem good either.
This is a wonderful, watercolored story about a little boy asking a little black crow all sorts of questions. Questions about the weather, about the crow’s emotions, and family etc. Its a great baby picture book because of the calming illustrations and the few words on the page. The kids sat very quietly while I read this book, I think it helped that most of my audience today were boys. Even some parents repeated lines from the book to reinforce the imagery and concepts.
Bridget R. Wilson
A boy sees a little black crow. He questions what the crow might wonder about.

What I thought: The premise of Little Black Crow is certainly a novel one. The questioning format will appeal to my story time crowd. I can just imagine the answers they'd give. I love the illustrations. I never knew how much I liked watercolor until I looked at this book. My favorite illustrations are the crow family and the boy with the crow.

Story Time Themes: Birds, Fall, Imagination

I liked the words better then the illustrations, and there was something about the text that was a little off for the age. The vocabulary seemed a little bit too advanced for the sorts of things that the boy is wondering. But there are moments when the boy and the bird are beautifully evoked. Still this doesn't come close to Henkes' Birds at capturing the spirit of birds and children observing them.
I'm not a big Chris Raschka fan. I know, I know...but his art just does not seem kid friendly to me. But that's just me.

This is a cute question/answer type book. Children will explore all kinds of relationships through the answers provided by the pictures. Not a good storytime book as the pictures are hard to decipher at any amount of distance. Best suited to caregiver/child read alouds.
Nancy Jo Lambert
I really wanted to like Little Black Crow more because it has all the makings of a fabulous picture book: great illustrations, rhyming text, a lovely little message...

I just didn't connect with this book I guess. I know there are kids out there though that will just love this book and recognize all the beauty it holds. For me, it was just alright.

The almost Asian-style watercolor illustrations intrigued me... particularly the cartoon crow who was strangely reminiscent of the inebriated comic star Drinky Crow.

I'm not sure the picture book set would be able to follow along with the text.
A book of wonder in which a boy observes a little black crow and ponders a series of questions. Watercolor and ink illustrations are stellar in this book. I really liked the way the artist created rain; it was incredibly realistic. The color mixes and texture details makes for watercolor artwork at its finest. PreK-2.
I am such a Chris Raschka fangirl. He somehow manages to make his books both simple and complex...the perfect picture book combination. Little Black Crow is about a child looking at a crow, and a crow looking at a child. But the questions the child asks are true, thoughtful, and universal. Lovely.
Stephanie Croaning
A young boy sits and ponders what life is like for a little black crow he sees. I love how the boy compares his life to that of the crow, and how he applies his reasoning skills to the crow. Very sweet, uncomplicated watercolor-style illustrations accompany the text.
A little too cute, but Raschka's brush and pen strokes (and diffused watercolor patches) are so skillful and evocative as to carry the narrative line along. Slow-paced, restful book that leaves open space for wondering.

(First read June 2011)
A boy spies a crow and wonders about the connections between the crow's life and his. The prose, guided by the boy's questions, is lyrical. I found the illustrations, particularly the crow himself, heavy-handed and impersonal.
Kind of cute rhymes, with nice water color illustrations. The human interest for the crow is a (white) boy, of course, and the love interest is a dove, so a bit off track on the gender stereotyping, but fun otherwise.
A little boy asks the crow about the things he sees and how he feels, revealing more about the little boy than the crow. Good for your little question-askers. They can come up with their own answers in this one.
Could possibly be used as an introduction to a bird unit. Many questions available to be answered. Students could make their own question about an animal and research the answer then.
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"I always try to treat the book itself as the artwork," Chris Raschka says. "I don't want you to stop while you're reading one of my books and say, 'Oh! What a gorgeous illustration!' I want you to stop at the end of the book and say, 'This is a good book.' "

Chris Raschka is one of those people who knew from an early age what he wanted to be when he grew up. "It was never a question in my mind,"
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