Crow has received glowing reviews from such esteemed publications as Publishers Weekly who lauds it as being a thoughtful story told with polish and style. I was expecting a story showing the dangers of prejudice and loving yourself for who you are. I must admit however that I just don't get it. Crow creeps along his telephone wire and attempts to make friends with a trio of multi colored birds. The Birds then squeak "Black! He's pitch-black from top to toe." "He's not to be trusted." "Brr, must be a mean creature." I found these lines disturbing and immediately realized that I would not be comfortable using this book as a group read aloud. I was still expecting a good resolution to the story, even after our poor crow then despairs, calling himself a "creep" and a "scarecrow of tar and feathers."
Crow then decides to set to work painting his feathers to look like our trio of multi colored birds. He's not successful in winning over new friends though, since the little birds are now scared of the birds he's pretending to be. When his tears wash away the paint, the little birds recognize him as the Crow and are excited because he scared the other birds away with his "burly black beak and your dark feathers." I was expecting something like oh, we shouldn't have judged you by your appearance, or black isn't scary after all. What I got was just a picture of all the birds flying off together. I think maybe the author was trying to point out that the color of the bird didn't matter, they were all scary... but this one just didn't leave me with a good feeling. I didn't like the language at all, and I can't help but feel that if I didn't get it, then 4 to 5 year olds won't get it either.
I will say that the illustrations here are quite spectacular. I just wish the story would have been more satisfying. Not a recommend.