I’ll be continuing my Picture Books 14:14 journey by following a little boy as he ponders a crow in this book of rhyme.
Title: Little Black Crow
Author & Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: A Richard Jackson Book, 2010
Little black crow, do you ever wonder
about lightning or thunder?
A young boy sitting on a fence asks a crow a progression of questions as he wonders what it does, thinks, and feels. The sing-songy rhythm, repetition, and rhyme of his questions give them a sound appealing for young readers, but that is at the same time poetic and natural.
Do you ever worry
when you hop and you hurry?
Are you ever afraid
of mistakes you’ve made?
The content is as well-balanced as the language, the boy’s curiosity and attempt to make a connection with the world around him something that young readers can relate to, but that is not at all condescending. While simple, it’s also philosophical and beautiful, wondering if the experience of another creature is the same as your own. It’s a sort of selfless thinking about the world that kids aren’t always given credit for.
…do you ever wonder
about stars you see?
Might you ever wonder
about someone like me?
In this last line, the boy takes his thinking one step further, not just wondering what the crow is thinking, but whether the crow wonders back about him. He’s not just a curious observer anymore, but is reaching out to create a relationship with the crow. The illustrations are as simple and sweet as the boy’s poetic thoughts, and in the last picture, the boy and the crow are sitting side by side on the fence, wondering at each other.