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*Six Crows* by Leo Lionni
Also by Leo Lionni:

A Color of His Own (Spanish-English bilingual edition)

Little Blue and Little Yellow [board book]

Little Blue and Little Yellow (50th Anniversary Edition)



Fish is Fish

Nicolas, Where Have You Gone?

Tico and the Golden Wings

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
Six Crows
by Leo Lionni
Grades PreK-2 32 pages Knopf September 2010 Hardcover    

Originally published in 1988, this classic Leo Lionni fable has been re-released by Alfred A. Knopf to a new generation of young readers who will not only enjoy the story of the crows and the farmer but, given a little prompting, will also have the opportunity to ponder the power of words in resolving disputes.

Six Crows takes place in a peaceful valley at the foot of the Balabadur Hills, India. The farmerís life is very good: his field of wheat is healthy, the weather and conditions favorable. His only annoyance is the six noisy crows that peck at his wheat.

Naturally, the farmer builds a scarecrow. In response, the crows build a fierce and ugly bird kite. The farmer then builds a more terrifying scarecrow; the crows build a more ferocious kite. A wise owl observes this buildup of animosities and suggests to the famer and the crows that they get together to discuss their problem. In the end, the farmer and the crows recognize their codependency, realizing the magic of words to resolve disputes.

Teachers can use this fable in a number of ways with a variety of ages. Young children can make predictions and suggestions about what the crows or the farmer should do next. Likewise, they can make connections to their own lives, relationships with siblings, friends on the playground, etc. With older students, teachers can make parallels to historical events - most obviously to the military buildup of the Cold War.

Lionniís cut and ripped paper collage will inspire young artists in its simplicity while also inviting students to consider layers, texture, movement and color when considering the effectiveness of the illustrations and creating their own artwork. Like the classic fables we are all familiar with, Six Crows teaches a lesson and inspires contemplation of our own lives and our world. Highly recommended.

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  Kristine Wildner/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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