Monday, 12 October 2015

The Crow's Tale by Naomi Howarth (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

Inspired by a Lenape Native American myth, here's an unusually colourful tale considering the star is a crow...
"The Crow's Tale" has one of the most beautiful covers we've seen in a long while and the gorgeousness doesn't end there. This retelling of a classic Lenape myth is truly special.

Crow is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Yes crow! But before you point out that all crows are black and rather croaky, rather than beautifully coloured with a sweet singing voice, there's more to this story than meets the eye.

How did crow become black? It all started one harsh winter as all the animals gathered amongst the encroaching snows, huddling together for warmth. Volunteers are sought for an intrepid mission to appeal to the Sun to come back, and there's really only one animal for the job - Crow!

Crow flies long and hard, avoiding tense moments of danger until eventually he once again finds the sun who is reluctant to return, having shone hard all summer and now taking a long winter's rest. Sun offers crow a burning branch, on the condition that he takes the fire back to the animals. Soot and smoke blacken poor Crow's feathers, and the smoky particles make Crow's throat so sore that his singing voice is replaced by a harsh caw.

But he succeeds in his mission at great personal cost. Crow is no longer beautiful but his friends the animals celebrate his bravery, and perhaps Mr Sun wasn't quite as harsh as Crow thinks because he discovers a special secret that may just lift his spirits once again (we'll leave you to discover what that secret is).

An astonishingly beautiful book, a glorious retelling. Hooray for Crow!

Charlotte's favourite bit: When Crow realises Sun wasn't quite as harsh and cruel as first though, imbuing a secret gift on Crow to be discovered once the sun shines again.

Daddy's favourite bit: A brilliant and colourful retelling of a Lenape myth, brought to stunning life by an extremely talented author illustrator. Fabulous!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

"The Crow's Tale"

Written and Illustrated by Naomi Howarth

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Release Date: 1st October 2015