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Crow Boy

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,500 ratings  ·  226 reviews
"A shy mountain boy in Japan leaves his home at dawn and returns at sunset to go to the village school. Pictures and text of moving and harmonious simplicity". - Saturday Review.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 30th 1976 by Puffin Books (first published September 30th 1955)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,500 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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At first, I really did not like the artwork in this book. It's fuzzy and the colors are dull and makes me feel it's messy. As the story went on, I think it is part of the story to explain the Tiny boy in this book. At least, I think that is what it's doing.

Chibi who becomes Crow Boy is not from the village with the other children. He comes to school and he is scared. He hides under the building. Instead of listening to the teacher he examines the world around him. The ceiling fascinates him for
Crow Boy
Taro Yashima
Viking: New York 1955

This book is a great way to introduce the topic of bullying through a multicultural lens. This story centers around a boy that does not fit with the social and cultural norms of his classmates throughout his school career. He continually is bullied and made fun of until the sixth grade when a teacher takes interest in him and creates opportunities for him to show his talents and knowledge. This account of prolonged bullying and the resilience of a single
Shanna Gonzalez
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-04-08
Crow Boy is a memorable story, apparently drawn from the author's childhood memories of Japan. On the first day of school in a small village, a young boy is found hidden beneath the schoolhouse floor. The boy comes to be called "Chibi" for his small stature, and is ostracized by his classmates. After six years, a new teacher notices that Chibi's knowledge and skills distinguish him from the other children. He displays Chibi's artwork and writing on the wall, and admires his knowledge of the ...more
Alondra Carter

"Crow Boy",written and illustrated by Taro Yashima, is a fictional book that has an inspirational message. The story follows a young Japanese boy named Chibi who arrives at this school, and for years he is seen as odd for being so small and for all of the things he would do to pass the time being that nobody interacted with him. Then, after several years pass by he's in his last year of grade school and he gets a new teacher. This teacher believes in him and sees the good in him,
Eva Leger
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Julia and I read both Umbrella and Crow Boy this past week and we didn't end up very find of the first. I remember it now with annoyance I'm sorry to say.
This was exactly the opposite although I was surprised that Julia liked it as much as did. The Caldecott helped because she has an intense interest in books with that honor all of a sudden.
The illustrations were similar Umbrella but neither of us liked the pictures as much in Crow Boy, especially Crow Boy's face. The angles are too sharp and
Jennifer Ha
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crow Boy is a realistic fiction book that shows the perfect example of "We should never judge a book by its cover". It also shows that teachers could be the ones to discriminate children along with their students. In the beginning of the story, Crow Boy was judged by his teacher and his classmates, and he was always alone. Things went well towards the end of the story because of another teacher's positive perspective on Crow Boy. This story made me realize that teachers' actions will greatly ...more
Robert Davis
**** Caldecott Honor (1956) ****

I love the colorful illustrations and the message of understanding, although I doubt that imitating crows is going to make any boy popular in todays culture. If anything, it would alienate a child and subject him to even greater ridicule. But, the message of finding hidden talent and human worth is important.
Samantha Weatherford
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Samantha by:
although this book would be great to teach kids the importance of accepting others, that all kids have something to offer, i was not interesting in my opinion. the pictures were also very oddly drawn so i couldn't get into the book. it does teach some great concepts as far as not teasing kids though. could also teach urban kids to think about the stryggles of rural children.
Barbara Brien
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I believe this story was more about the children and adults who interacted with Crow Boy than it was about Crow Boy. It took one special teacher to see Crow Boy for what he was, and that teacher taught everyone else.
A young boy, from far out in the country, endures five years of ridicule to get an education. Just before graduation, everyone discovers his different talents and abilities, and they regret the way that they treated him.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ellie
Listened to the audio while looking at the book.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth, excellent
This lovely picture book illustrates a touching story. Chibi, which means "small boy" is a "strange" boy who "was afraid of our teacher and could not learn a thing. He was afraid of the children and could not make friends with them at all." What struck me about this story was that despite his fears he came every day to school, for six years, and managed to absorb sights and sounds that the other children missed.
When the new teacher, Mr. Isobe, comes to the school, he observes the differences in
Cara Byrne
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A Caldecott Honoree from 1956, this picture book tells the story of Chibi, a young boy who travels from a far distance each day to attend school. The illustrations remind me of those in Madeline and 100 Dresses.
Taylor Nelson
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a little boy named Chibi “tiny boy” who goes to school in Japan. Chibi was made fun of and called “stupid” and “slowpoke” and was afraid of many things, including his teacher. He would find things to look at or do to make his time more enjoyable such as looking at the ceiling, or patches on clothes. One day Chibi had a new teacher named Mr. Isobe. Mr. Isobe changed Chibi’s life by hanging his artwork on the wall and encouraging him. There was a talent show at the end,
DeAndra Brooks
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing


This is a short story that takes place in a rural Japanese village. Chibi is frequently bullied for being different. He often kept to himself until one day he got a new teacher. His teacher expressed great interest in him. Crow Boy by Taro Yashima tells the story of a young boy who lives in a rural Japanese village and stands out from his peers. Other students describe him as strange, and he often sinks into the background. However, Chibi, the young boy, attends school every day. For many
Sydney Chassion
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-1-10
This story is about a young boy who lives in Japan that doesn't quite fit in with the others kids at his school. He isn't a very good student, per say, mostly because he just stares out the window. But one day, his teacher notices that the boy isn't just staring emptily - he's observing the birds outside. The teacher encourages the boy to join the talent show, which he does, and imitate crow calls. When he does this, his peers no longer see him as weird, but as a wonderful artist.

Luisa Knight
This is a story about a boy in Japan who goes to school. From there, I'm not sure where the message is suppose to go. Is it that he eventually has friends? Or that he's awarded at school for attendance? Was he mentally challenged?

Because it seems like he could have tried to play with the children and not stared at the ceiling for those six years at school and tried to learn something - if he wasn't mentally challenged. If he was, than I get the story and it's a nice one.

Ages: 4 - 8

Anna Kozlowska
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: banned
‘This is my third challenged picture book.’

“Crow Boy” by Taro Yashima is full of gruesome illustrations that are fascinating and compelling at the same time. It contains a strong art element, like the color, size and the structure of each page. The colors are vivid despite the frightening feel they create and the clothing portrayed in the story is very colorful along with the village and how the people are represented. The picture on the cover page is very distinct in that it shows a boy wearing
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was challenged by a school board member in Queens (NY) in 1994 because it "denigrates white American culture, promotes racial separation and discourages assimilation.” The rest of the school board voted to retain the book.

So…this is a book written and illustrated by a Japanese writer/artist, it’s setting an unnamed village in rural Japan, peopled only by Japanese – and it denigrates American white culture? Promotes racial separation and discourages assimilation? Really? Was the
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima tells the story of a young boy who stands out from his peers. Other students describe him as strange, and he 0ften sinks into the background. However, Chibi, the young boy, attends school every day. For many years, students and teachers alike fail to notice Chibi, until Mr. Isobe, his sixth-grade teacher, takes the time to get to know him. Because of Mr. Isobe, Chibi is able to open up to his peers, and they begin to appreciate him for who he truly is. Chibi is a young ...more
Dr. Hopkins
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima is a story of a boy who is an outcast at his school in Japan. He is afraid of the teacher and other children, so he keeps to himself. His peers nickname him Chibi, which translates into tiny boy in Japanese. Chibi, as he is called, remains an outcast until sixth grade when his new teacher Mr. Isobe arrives at the school. Mr. Isobe sees all of Chibi's talents and spends much time with him. At the talent show, Mr. Isobe introduces Chibi and his talent of imitating the crow ...more
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
It is banned book week and this was on a list of banned books. It is a Caldecott Honor, but I do not like the pictures. I think the story is go, so maybe someone can go back and make the pictures better. We have had this book in our library for awhile and honestly, when I shelved it, I figured it was a Crow Indian.

Nope, this is about a Japanese boy. He is the loner in the class, no one talks to him, and he doesn't say a thing, until a teacher gets to know him and find out his talent. The
Erina Jeon
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crow Boy is one of my favorite children's books because it promotes the prevention of both bullying and cultural awareness. the story is interesting to children and offers them things to think about, question, or consider. This book is perfect for a text talk lesson because it includes a thick, rich plot, which will encourage students to critically think about what will happen next in each section of the book. The book is about a little boy who is in elementary school. He is picked on throughout ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful tale that takes place in Japan. It is about a young boy, Chibi, who is afraid of school, and seemingly is incapable of learning. The students come to make fun of him, he stands out because he is different, dirty and never talks. He spends years staring out the window and always being last. In the 6th and final year of school, a new teacher arrives. This teacher approaches education differently and finally sees Chibi. It is because of this teacher and his different approach ...more
Mal Czuba
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Crow Boy" by Taro Yashima is a winner of the Caldecott Honor Book, but also is on the list of young children’s books that have been challenged. Taro Yashima created story about tiny boy name Chibi, who lives in small Japanese village, who is going to school and who is treated unkindly by his classmates. Chibi was kept to himself for long six years of school and only because the new teacher was hired Chibi’s life changed. The new teacher, Mr.Isobe, who was a “friendly man with a kind smile”, was ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Crow Boy is a book written and illustrated by Taro Yashima. It tells the story of a young boy (Chibi) in Japan who is very misunderstood by his classmates. After many years, he finally has a teacher who takes the time to get to know him and his story. Because of this teacher, Chibi is able to perform in the school talent show and everyone sees a different side to him. After, his classmates are more understanding and try to be nicer to him. Overall, this book was okay. It is not a book I would ...more
This book won a 1956 Caldecott Honor. I'd seen it in several children's collections, but had never picked it up. It was an unusual story, but a good one. Chibi, which means "tiny boy" is afraid of the teachers and students at his school, and is for the most part ignored by them, when he is not bullied. He does not do his lessons like the other children, but instead entertains himself by looking and watching things inside and outside the classroom. But he comes to school every day very faithfully ...more
Gianna Petrillo
1. Caldecott Honor Book- Silver
2. Grades 2-5
3. This book is about a Japanese boy who is mocked and isolated by his classmates. His teacher Mr. Isobe got to know this boy and gave him a chance to show him who he was. The boy grew out of his showed his teacher and classmates and community his crow calling which made him stand out again, but in a positive way.
4. I think students would really benefit from reading this book because I'm sure at one point in their life they felt isolated and hurt by
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it

In 1956, a Japanese-American using the pseudonym Taro Yashima, won a Caldecott Honor for his book 'Crow Boy.' This story of a young Japanese boy was created for the author's daughter. The author also wrote two other children's books, 'Umbrella' and 'Seashore Story,' using this pseudonym. He received Caldecott Honors for these books as well. He died in California in 1994.

Stories like this never go out of style.

It is easy to see why Crow Boy by Taro Yashima can still be found in libraries and
Angel Romero
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Chibi is a small boy that does not talk in the classroom. He hides his face staring at the ceiling and looking away the bad faces that children make at him. At a talent show Chibi demonstrates crow sounds to the school. The children realize how wrong they were by treating him unfairly.
This realistic fiction book portrays the story of a boy being neglected and bullied at school. This is a great story to share with third/fourth graders. Through the story I felt sorry that Chibi
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