Friday, September 18, 2015

Let's Read Week ~ Crow Made a Friend

Crow Made a Friend
by Margaret Peot
24 pages; ages 4-8
Holiday House, 2015

OK, I confess: this is a book I would choose by its cover!

themes: friendship, seasons

Crow is alone.
He has a plan. He uses sticks.

Crow wants a friend, and since there's no other crows around he sets about making one. He tries sticks, but they don't work. He tries building a friend out of snow, but snow friends only last so long. Then he hears "Caw! Caw!" and he makes a new plan that works out much better. In the end crow is surrounded by friends.

What I like about this book: I like the simplicity: crow wants a friend and so he makes one. I like the seasonality: in the fall he uses sticks; in the winter he uses snow. I like that he tries to solve problems in a crow-like fashion, and that the materials he uses are things that a crow would find in nature. And I like love the way it ends, when crow puts his building skills to a different use: making a nest for his new friend.

And did I say I love the cover? I also love the play on words in the title. And the language is simple enough for beginning readers, and yet engaging enough that I would read it aloud to a child as a picture book.

Beyond the Book:

Make a pocket friend. You probably have all sorts of things around the house that you could use to make a "friend": un-matched socks, felt, clothespins, yarn, scraps of fabric. If you like to use needle and thread, try making a sock friend. But if you're more the glue-it-and-be-done-with-it sort, then maybe a clothespin person would be the friend for you. Be creative. Have fun.

Be a friend to people and other living things. Two years ago a girl in Seattle started feeding the crows in her neighborhood. Now her crow friends bring her presents when they visit. Crows are smart; they can use tools and build things, and they can tell when someone is a true friend. How can you be friendly to the birds who visit your backyard? How can you be a better friend to your pet?

The legend of Rainbow Crow. The crow on the cover of the book has feathers the colors of a rainbow. And that reminded me of a tale from the Lenni Lenapi people about Rainbow Crow. Rainbow Crow was a true friend to the other animals - you can read his story here. And if you look at crow feathers in sunlight, you can still see the rainbow.

I've been reviewing early readers all week. Here are links to the earlier posts:
Lost Dog
Hiding Dinosaurs
Cool online resources 
Pie for Chuck

Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


  1. What a compassionate and wonderful story about friendship -- and I would add diversity with the unlikely pairing. You are right, the cover is very inviting. You have excellent suggestions for activities.

    1. diversity - and imagination: you can make a friend out of what's at hand - or make friends within just about any group you find yourself, and they don't really have to look like you at all.

  2. Back to my library list to add this one. We love friendship stories.

  3. Who doesn't want a friend? And crow's solution is ingenious AND soooo crowlike! They're so smart! Great book to feature on PPBF!

    1. plus a fun play on words. I remember people saying: go out there and make some friends. I guess snow-friends count!

  4. This one makes me want to compare and contrast it with Fox Makes Friends. I wonder how they are similar and how they differ. Thanks for the lead on another must-have for my collection!