Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With elegant illustrations and quiet rhyming stanzas Cunningham (Nightfall, Country Lake) answers a crow's question, "Where does it go,/ this mountain snow,/ each spring?" Beginning with a trickle of melted snow on a still mountainside, the book traces the water's path from brook, to waterfall, to trout stream and, eventually, to the wide ocean. Composed with a photographic clarity, the gouache paintings are surrounded with clean white borders and embellished in the upper left-hand corner with the gray silhouette of the crow. Cunningham's rhymed quatrains, just two short lines per double-page spread, set a tone of reverence for the natural world: the reader sees a delicate golden leaf floating on the water's surface ("On the current/ a leaf is drawn") and after the turn of the page, a rainbow hidden in a billowing waterfall ("to the waterfall-/ then it's gone!). Both the beauty of the paintings and Cunningham's lyrical but simple language will make the subject comprehensible for even youngest readers, yet preserve its interest for adults. All ages. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
A Crow's Journey is a beautifully illustrated poem that tells about a curious crow who follows mountain snow as it melts. Large, realistic, watercolor paintings illustrate the few lines of verse on each page. The stream grows; rocks tumble and are worn down; a leaf is carried to a waterfall; a trout appears; the stream leaves the forest and then becomes a river that flows into the ocean. This book introduces younger children to exceptional art and to the water cycle, and would be a wonderful addition to any library.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Although this book is handsomely designed and executed, its awkwardly chosen words diminish its impact. The poem tells of the travels of a crow that follows the course of the spring snow as it melts into a trickling mountain stream, growing and rushing over a waterfall, into a trout pool, and eventually making its way to the sea. It's an interesting concept rounded off at the end with a map of the water's (and the crow's) journey. However, the exquisite, subtly colored gouache illustrations definitely outshine the simple verse's forced rhymes and static cadence.Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Susan Dove Lempke
Like the classic "Paddle to the Sea", this traces the path of water from melting ice to the ocean. Instead of following a carved canoe in the water, Cunningham shows a crow flying over the water, "curious to know: / Where does it go, / this mountain snow, / each spring?" Beginning with a trickle, it makes a brook trailing through the forest, pouring over a waterfall, continuing into a stream, and widening into a river, and at the mouth of the river, it "finally meets the ocean tide. / And now the crow is satisfied." Though the idea of a crow expressing curiosity seems coy, Cunningham's gouache paintings are anything but, capturing every ripple, sparkle, and splash of the water on its way. The rocks' texture, the dappling of light, the colors of the landscape, and the animals along the water are each caught with tenderness and an almost cameralike intensity. A map at the end gives children the chance to trace the crow's journey.