Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Song for Papa Crow

Title: Song for Papa Crow
Author: Marit Menzin
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Pages: 32
Availability: On shelves now
Review Copy: Final copy via publisher

Summary: Little Crow loves to sing, and Papa Crow loves his song. But when Little Crow shares his crow songs with the other birds at the big, old tree, they laugh and scatter. Maybe Mockingbird can teach him to sing songs with the finches, flycatchers, and cardinals—and help him make some friends. But Little Crow should be careful what he wishes for...

Using Mockingbird’s tip, Little Crow quickly becomes the most popular bird on the block but, in a moment of danger, he learns that singing someone else’s song can have terrible consequences, and that his own voice—and his father’s love—is of the greatest value. Paired with colorful collage illustrations, this inspirational story is complemented by fun facts about North American birds and their sounds.

Review: Song for Papa Crow is a sweet book about being true to yourself and the love of a father. Little Crow has his own unique song, but because the other birds make fun of him, he tries to be like everyone else. Initially he is popular, but ultimately it brings some scary results. The text includes different bird calls that would make this fun to read aloud. The unusual font is likely to make this challenging for beginning readers, but it does add an artistic quality to the text.

The strength of the book is the collages. They are filled with a wide variety of patterns and textures. The beautiful illustrations invite the eyes to wander through leisurely to enjoy the birds and their surroundings. There is an oddity though on one page. The illustration doesn't match the text. A bird is said to have something in its talons, but in the picture, there are no talons and the bird has something in its beak instead. It didn't really affect understanding of the storyline, but it could jolt the reader out of the story to wonder about the difference.

The inclusion of 'Fun Facts' about birds at the end of the story is definitely a plus. With the story, beautiful illustrations and a small bit of non-fiction at the end, Song for Papa Crow would be an  additional purchase for a library looking for more books about common North American birds. There are other books about birds that I would choose first though such as Have You Heard the Nesting Bird and Mama Built a Little Nest or Feathers: Not Just for Flying.

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