This is a story about two birds and uses a theme of bullying. It is a superb, artistic, storybook that contains a wealth of learning and moral lessons, taught through its art and gentle words. Children will be absorbed, and parents and teachers will be able to pose questions that this story evokes from children.
The artwork is bold, but also incorporates shadowy figures, such as the hungry cat. The end pages set the mood with a shiny maroon colour. Most of the pages have a greyish, cloudy, windy background, which allows the black of the crow and the red of the cardinal bird to stand out as the feature characters. Your eye is instantly drawn to the two protagonists.
The author has told the story with well-chosen words, which marry beautifully with the illustrations. They are gentle and when direct speech is used, the words are written in large font and coloured in red.
The story deals with an old crow, “whose call was harsh and coarse and his feathers were long and straggly”. The young, brightly coloured cardinal tormented the crow by calling him ugly, until the crow grew angry. He eventually scared all the teasing birds away, and sat alone on his branch. When the cardinal becomes a victim of the cat, only the crow can save him, which he does with cunning.
Issues of bullying, and bystanders watching bullying, are dealt with in schools and kindergartens using many tools. This book would be a fantastic way to address problem solving and bullying issues.
The layout is skilfully presented to allow for thinking time at the end of each page, and the final statement by the crow lends itself to discussion. The solution in this story is reasonable and believable and simple.
A beautiful book to look at, to read and to treasure.
|Publisher||Simply Read Books|