Six Crows

Overview

While a farmer tends his field of wheat, six hungry crows watch and wait in a nearby tree. When the wheat ripens, the farmer builds a scarecrow to frighten them off, but these ingenious crows are not so easily scared. Bringing this original fable to life with brilliant collages, Leo Lionni deftly draws parallels between animal and human behavior that children can readily appreciate. And once again he shows us that compromise can work magic.

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Overview

While a farmer tends his field of wheat, six hungry crows watch and wait in a nearby tree. When the wheat ripens, the farmer builds a scarecrow to frighten them off, but these ingenious crows are not so easily scared. Bringing this original fable to life with brilliant collages, Leo Lionni deftly draws parallels between animal and human behavior that children can readily appreciate. And once again he shows us that compromise can work magic.

From the Hardcover edition.

An owl helps a farmer and some crows reach a compromise over the rights to the wheat crop.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Six noisy crows disturb the peace of a farmer in the Balabadur Hills of India as he awaits the harvesting of his grain. When they peck at it, he builds a scarecrow that frightens them. They in turn build a big kite to scare the scarecrow. The farmer counters with a more menacing scarecrow; they respond with a ferocious kite that frightens the farmer into staying in his hut. An observant owl wisely counsels them to talk it over. Magical accord is the result. Large white pages are appropriate backdrops for the cut paper cast that needs only touches of mixed media to add appeal to the potently designed shapes. The intensely colored orange eyes of the crows and the regimented spikes of wheat add engaging accents to the design. The weirdly grinning giant scarecrow adds a positive note. The lesson of peaceful resolution is clear in this reissue from 1988. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A war of scarecrows begins when a farmer tries to banish six crows from his wheatfield. He creates a horned, menacing figure; the crows fight back by building a giant, ugly bird to hover above the fields like a shadow. The owl intervenes and convinces both sides to talk peace. This moral tale eloquently depicts the pointlessness and futility of the ancient war of fear. As always, Lionni's characteristic primitive art and abstract forms appeal both to the naive perceptions of children and the universal sensitivity of all readers. Ages 3-7. March
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Lionni's story about a farmer facing marauding crows teaches a lesson about making peace in the midst of escalating conflict. The farmer is enraged by six noisy crows who keep eating the wheat in his field , and he builds a scarecrow to frighten them off. The crows are disturbed, but not willing to give up, so they design a kite to scare off the monster. The farmer then builds a bigger and fiercer scarecrow, and the crows a fiercer kite. Meanwhile, the wheat is dying from neglect. A watching owl manages to bring the two sides together, and they work out a compromise. This brief, simple story works on a literal level as well as on a metaphoric one. It is illustrated with Lionni's usual handsome, colorful collages which project well for reading aloud to groups. Amy Spaulding, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
From the Publisher
“This enduring theme has a moral for young and adult alike, making it a perfect choice for parents to share with their children.” —Booklist

“This brief, simple story works on a literal level as well as on a metaphoric one. It is illustrated with Lionni’s usual handsome, colorful collages which project well for reading aloud to groups.” —School Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375845505
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 601,369
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Hailed as “a master of the simple fable” by the Chicago Tribune, he died in 1999 at the age of 89.

From the Hardcover edition.

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