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Crow Boy (Picture Puffins) Paperback – September 30, 1976
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Top Customer Reviews
Interestingly, I believe that this is the first Caldecott Honor book (as far as I can tell) appearing after the end of World War II depicting a Japanese character. As such, it may have also helped to heal some old wounds from that war. It shows how similar children can be from another culture.
The loneliness of the excluded child is very well drawn, and the other children's cruel oblivion is believably portrayed as Chibi quietly occupies himself watching the planks of the ceiling and staring out the window. When the children realize their wrong, they weep for their six years of unkindness. But, unlike The Hundred Dresses, this moral lesson comes with an opportunity to make amends: Whenever Chibi returns to the village, carrying his homemade charcoal for sale and buying the small items his family can afford, the children greet him by his new name, "Crow Boy." Crow Boy responds to their overtures with happiness and pride. He has won his place in the community, and he returns home with dignity.Read more ›
Blackbird, fly." -- Paul McCartney, from "Blackbird," 1968
This is a beautiful story I've loved since I was 4. In fact, it might make you cry. Readers are introduced to a boy nicknamed Chibi because he was small. Chibi lived in a rural community in Japan and was found hidden under a floor in the school building. Other children ostracize him and ridicule him. This goes on for 6 years.
Chibi is bound to routine. He eats the same thing for lunch every day, a rice ball wrapped in a radish leaf. Instead of paying attention to lessons, his mind is on the birds outside, a shadow across his desk, another boy's shoulder. His teachers don't seem to take much interest in him either.
That changes during the boy's year in 6th grade. A new teacher arrives. He recognizes something special in Chibi and works to draw him out. He displays Chibi's work on the classroom walls; he makes a point of calling on him in class. He listens to him after class as well. In time, he discovers Chibi's hidden talent - his ability to imitate the sound of crows. He can copy the sound of happy, sad, scolding, older, newborn and distant crows. The new teacher explains to the class that Chibi has learned about crows from coming down the mountain on his daily trek to school.
The other children learn to appreciate Chibi, thanks to their wonderful teacher. He sounds a lot like the kind teacher who made all the difference in the world for another child in the true story of Thank You, Mr. Falker. One kind teacher really CAN make a difference.
"You were only waiting for this moment to arise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my all time favorite children's books. Both the story and the illustrations are so evocative and haunting that even now after my kids are grown, I re-read the story at least... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Porgy
All teachers must read this book to learn about the role they play in a student's life and in building great classroom cultures.Published 4 months ago by Tomapep
This is a great book to use on the first day of school. I'll be using it in 4th grade, but have also used it in 3rd and it really opened up the topic of valuing each other and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Emily Barnitz
This was a gift for my grandson. I'm sure he liked it because he asked for it.Published 8 months ago by Carol J. Harman
This is a simple, beautifully told story about a school boy who is different from his peers. Set in last century, rural Japan, it's evocative illustrations and powerful story line... Read morePublished 10 months ago by A. Monk
I know this is a Caldecott but I actually think it's sort of a horrible story. One child is ostracized for six years (probably because he's not of the mainstream Japanese... Read morePublished 14 months ago by K. E Hart
I first discovered this book when I took a class in illustration from Taro Yashima through UCLA Extension in the early 1960's. Read morePublished on February 3, 2014 by Vici