Six Crows

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SIX CROWS – View on Amazon

a fable by Leo Lionni; published (1988) by Scholastic Inc.

I got this book for 50 cents at a book sale at our public library. I’d never heard of Leo Lionni – (yes, I am blushing red as a beet as I write this – seems he is rather well known) But what attracted me to the book was curiosity about its uber-simplistic illustrations; it has a sort of homemade feel. It turns out Leo Lionni (1910-1999) had 42 books to his credit, won awards and was compared to the brilliant Eric Carle. Though I’m not so keen on his illustrations for SIX CROWS, I’ve done my research and the body of his scrumptious work is very Eric Carle-ish indeed.

SIX CROWS is a cute little story about sharing and collaboration.  Set in a peaceful valley where a farmer cultivates a field of wheat….

….life would have been good and happy were it not for six noisy crows who nested in a nearby tree. Just when the wheat was about to ripen, the crows descended upon the field and pecked away at the tender grains.

Naturally, the farmer builds a scarecrow.  Naturally the crows are frightened away, but they retaliate, building an even fiercer bark-n-leaves-bird-kite to banish the farmer.  An outright war erupts, each party now looking to one-up the other, building bigger scarecrows and bigger ‘scare-farmers’.  It is tit for tat with no end in sight, but an owl ….

…. had been watching the goings on….”I don’t know who is sillier, the farmer or the crows,” she thought.

What with the silliness, the neglected wheat begins to wilt and the owl decides to arbitrate.  “Go talk things over.  Words can do magic,” she says. They agree and they compromise for the sake of the prized wheat and the magic truly does happen …

… there stood the giant scarecrow…..  The nasty grin had turned into a happy smile.

A very simple story with a very big message.

If I’ve piqued your curiosity about Leo Lionni, why not have a look at these….?

Random House Kids (for cute videos)


For a preview of the book, of course, there is always the good old Amazon ‘look inside’ feature.


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