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St. Francis and the Proud Crow

St. Francis and the Proud Crow

by Bernadette Watts

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jealous of Canary, who lives in a cage in the palace, Crow asks Saint Francis to give him a house, too. Without a word, Saint Francis brings Crow a cage and lets him hop in. At first Crow is very pleasedhe is brought food and water and every morning the cage is moved to a new spot in the woods. One day he tries to fly, but his wings and feathers get tangled in the wire bars. All the other birds laugh at him and fly away, except for the little sparrow. She flies to Saint Francis, explains Crow's predicament and offers to stay in the cage herself. Watts's quiet retelling brings a simplicity and assuredness to this timeless story; working in pastels and watercolors, she bestows on each frame of the tale qualities of gentleness and humor. Ages 4-7. (September)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 In this fable a wild crow envies the snug, sheltered life of a caged canary and begs St. Francis for a golden cage of his own. The saint obliges. The crow is pleased with his new home until he tries to fly and bumps his wings against the bars. The other birds laugh. Pitying him, a tiny sparrow volunteers to take his place. Having learned to prize his freedom, the crow soars away joyfully, giving thanks to the saint and the sparrow whenever she ventures into the deep woods. The plot lacks logic because the cage door is never closed on the sparrow, and St. Francis, who would need to be identified to readers, would never be cruel to one of his Brother Birds. The charm of this moral tale about ``love, freedom, and the folly of envy'' is in the diminutive details of leaves, fruits, flowers, vines, vegetables, birds, and small animals shown in the double-page spreads. The cheerful palette of warm browns, reds, and golds and nighttime blues and purples and the crayon-like texture emphasize the cozy feeling. A doll-like St. Francis with a bland face, black button eyes, and round red cheek patches appears gentle and sweet as he goes about his tasks of gardening and caring for the animals. Patricia Pearl, First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, Va.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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