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As The Crow Flies Hardcover – September 18, 2012
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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A murder of crows swoops through city streets and over the heads of pedestrians as the birds scavenge for food. They find it in a dog’s bowl and on the street, and they even manage to “finagle a big piece of the pigeon’s bagel.” They also have fun playing a game of midair catch with a straw and posing picturesquely in a cemetery. As the sun sets, their numbers swell, and they take to the forests just in time to disappear into darkness. While there is no driving narrative in this lovely offering, there is a satisfying sense of a journey, and Keenan’s clever, rhyming lines will appeal to young ears, even as attentive readers will be able to extrapolate some of the playful behavioral characteristics of the titular corvids. Duggan’s deeply grained imagery, meanwhile, adds a sense of majesty as viewers swoop along with the crows over buildings, down streets, beneath glowing clouds, and through a sunset that practically generates warmth off the pages. A lighthearted look at the often ominously portrayed avians. Preschool-Grade 1. --Jesse Karp
“First-time illustrator Duggan's images mix static calm with dynamism, tranquil cityscapes with speeding cars. His portraits of crows and their antics are faithful and careful, and he makes especially effective use of panels to convey sequences of events. It's more of a naturalist's journal than a nonfiction reference--the scenes were inspired by crow behavior the husband-and-wife team witnessed firsthand. . . .Readers should look more closely at crows after they read Keenan and Duggan's book, but not before lingering over the illustrations.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Keenan and Duggan have created a dandy introduction to the raucous birds. Speaking in short, rhyming couplets, the avian narrator walks readers through an urban neighborhood as it explains how crows steal food, mess up car windows, and keep warm by flying through the city calling loudly during daylight hours, then roosting together in leafless trees on cold fall and winter nights. . . .This lovely example of picture-book design–a beautiful meld of text and illustrations–deserves a place on both school and public library shelves.” ―School Library Journal
“A helpful addition to the nature shelf, especially for its uncommon focus on urban birds.” ―Kirkus
“This could be useful as an introduction to a nature study lesson or as a poetic part of a bird-themed story session.” ―BCCB