CROW - CROWS
|CROW - CROWS
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BOOKS - CROW - CROWS - ALL AGES
Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In peformance, always credit your sources.
Alphabetized with short descriptions for your convenience and to save you research time.
|As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps by Gail Hartman with Harvey Stevenson (illus). (1993 - Ages 4-8)
Maps -- they help you get where you want to go. People use road maps to find their way. These maps show miles of highways that point out the right direction. But what about the crow? What kind of map does he use? Or the eagle, the rabbit, the horse, and the sea gull? What's on their maps?
|Baby Crow by John A. Rowe. (1996 - Ages 4-8)
"Baby Crow can't sing like the other members in his family--he just beeps. When Grandfather Crow discovers the problem--Baby Crow gobbled a cherry too fast and it got stuck in his throat--he dislodges it and Baby sings so loudly that the family wonders how to quiet him."--School Library Journal. Honor Book, 1995 Storytelling World Awards.
|Blacky the Crow (Dover Children's Thrift Classics) by Thornton W. Burgess. (1998 - Ages 9-12)
Children will love this wonderful tale of a crow who spies two fresh eggs in a nest belonging to Hooty the Owl and Mrs. Hooty. Does Blacky snatch those delicious eggs? Filled with humor and important lessons about nature and wildlife. Reset in large, easy-to-read type. 4 original illustrations by Harrison Cady.
|Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow (Bunnicula) by James Howe. (2006 - Ages 9-12)
The Monroe house is going mad with excitement. Pete has just won a contest, and the prize is a school visit from none other than M. T. Graves, Pete's idol and the bestselling author of the FleshCrawlers series. He's even going to stay with the Monroes while he's visiting! Harold and Howie are thrilled, but Chester the cat is suspicious... Suddenly, Graves's interest in all of the animals -- especially Bunnicula -- looks far from innocent.
|Crow (The): The Third Book of Pellinor (Pellinor Series) by Alison Croggan. (2007 - Young Adult)
The poisonous Dark threatens the Suderain, and the Black Army marches on Turbansk. As battle begins and the city is besieged, Saliman allows Hem to stay rather than fleeing with the other children. Hem's healing powers emerge, and readers see that he, too, has a predestined role in saving Edil-Amarandh--fully as cryptic as Maerad's role. Escaping the city, living in caves and training in spy techniques all help Hem when he secretly joins a rank of child-slave warriors.
|Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez with Tom Pohrt (illus). (1998 - Ages 4-8)
Long ago, when people and animals spoke the same language, two young men left their tribe to make an adventurous voyage through the wilderness, into the unknown northland. Set in the mythic past, inspired by the traditions of the North American Plains people, this fable of self-discovery follows Crow and Weasel as they face unfamiliar perils on a quest for knowledge and wisdom. Conquering their innermost fears, the two heroes come of age and learn more than they ever could have imagined...
|Crows!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence P. Pringle wit Bob Marshall (illus) (2002 - Ages 9-12)
A fascinating look at aspects of this clever bird's social behavior-mobbing, food gathering, and family cooperation. The text is vividly written and easy to understand, and the detailed color illustrations are striking. The picture-book format provides views that will be familiar to everyone who has ever observed these creatures, from pecking at trash in a park to soaring over a winter landscape. This excellent overview captures the crow's quirky playfulness as well as day-to-day actions.
|Fox (The) and the Crow (Between the Lions) by Susan Ring. (2000 = Ages 4-8)
This interactive activity book follows Between the Lion's whole-part-whole reading approach. The Lions along with the library patrons join together to read AesopÍs Fable "The Fox and the Crow." Activities and games are then used to introduce different reading strategies. In the end, children have a chance to write their own version of the story. Plenty of puzzles, mazes, games, and jokes make learning to read fun!
|Martha by Gennady Spirin (illus). (2005 - Ages 4-8)
This is Gennady Spirin's own dear story about the day his son Ilya found a crow with a broken wing, and brought it home. The veterinarian told the boy that it would never fly again. "Put it to sleep!" he urged the parents. But the wild crow-Martha, they called her-was full of surprises. She most certainly made their home, her home, and one day she did fly! Would there be one more surprise? When she flew away that fall, would she return again?
|Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler with Ponder Goembel (illus). (2006 - Ages 4-8)
Old Cricket didn't get to be a ripe old age "by being a dumb bug." No, sir. When his wife asks him to ready their roof for the winter, he fakes a knee injury to weasel out of it. When she sends him off to Doc Hopper, he hobbles out of the house "with a creak-creak-creak in case his missus was watching." On his way, he meets up with his cousin Katydid, who needs help with some berry-picking. He fakes yet another ailment--a crick in his neck--and wobbles off "with a creak-creak-creak and a crick-crick-crick..."
|Rainbow Crow (Dragonfly Books) by Nancy Van Laan. (1991 - Ages 4-8)
Illus. in full color. This story of how the Rainbow Crow lost his sweet voice and brilliant colors by bringing the gift of fire to the other woodland animals is "a Native American legend that will be a fine read-aloud because of the smooth text and songs with repetitive chants. The illustrations, done in a primitive style, create a true sense of the Pennsylvania Lenape Indians and their winters."--School Library Journal.
|Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales, The (4-6) by Sherab Chodzin and Alexandra Kohn with Marie Cameron (illus). (1998 - Ages 4-8)
A collection of Buddhist moral tales from India, Burma, Tibet, China, and Japan, The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales is as enchanting as it is exotic. Vivid illustrations from tales such as "The Foolish Boy" and "Useless Work" depict the characters in traditional dress, and the page margins of every story are decorated with distinctive, intricate designs. Some of these parables are as short as half a page.
|Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief: An Autobiography by Michael Oren Fitzgerald. (1994)
Yellowtail, born in 1903, is among the last of his generation of Native Americans. A medicine man (high priest) of the top rank, he views himself as a link between traditional indigenous spirituality and the tribulations of Native Americans under white society's thumb. Yellowtail believes his people must either return to their ethnic religions or face destruction by the white man's unreflective lifestyle. Yellowtail describes his experiences in the rigorous Sun Dance religion and details important ceremonies.
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ONLINE LINKS TO STORIES AND INFORMATION - CROW - CROWS
Online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories and information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Short descriptions included for your convenience and to save you research time.
"The Collared Crow" from South Africa.
"The Crows, The and the Serpent" from India.
"The Crows are in the Corn," a tale from Georgia, retold by S.E. Schlosser.
"The Eagle and the Old Crow," a folktale from Russia
"The Lost Necklace (Why Chickens Scratch the Ground)," a Visayan folktale
"A Matter of Crows," a folktale from India.
"Sankisar," by K.N. Kaul, from Kashmiri Folktales.
"The Spider and the Crows" by Marcus Garvey.
"Story of ' The Mbulukazi,'" a folktale from Africa.
"The Two Foxes, the Mole, and the Crows," an Aino Folktale by Basil Hall Chamberlain, 1888.
"White Crows," a folktale from Thailand.
Superstitions about Crows
~ Finding a dead crow in the road is good luck.
~ A crow perched near the house wards off evil.
~ "Two crows I see, good luck to me."
~ In New England, it is unlucky to see two crows flying to the left.
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SOS: SEARCHING OUT STORIES AND INFORMATION - CROW - CROWS
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians
(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)
Book titles, movie titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Story and song titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Posts are added chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.
1) In Sendai in Japan, carion crows have developed a clever way to crack walnuts, which are too hard to be cracked by dropping them on stones. They pick up the walnuts, wait at a traffic intersection and watch the light. When it turns red, they swoop down and place the nuts under the wheels of a car, then they fly back. After the light has changed to green and the cars have crushed the nuts, they swoop down again and eat the pieces. Calcedonian crows are probably the most proficient makers of tools among animals after human beings. They carefully construct a number of saws and specialized pokers from leaves in order to hunt for grubs. Last year in an Oxford laboratory, a scientist gave two Calcedonian crows wires, one straight and one with a hook, in order to see if they could fugure out which one could draw up a wagon full of food. One crow immediately took the hook. The other crow systematically made a hook with the second wire to draw up the wagon. Chimpanzees and mokeys were given the same problem, and none could solve it. For more on this, see the delightful book Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays by Candice Savage. Of, if you want to wait until September, you can see my forthcoming book Crow (Animal), a cultural history of crows and human being that will be published by Reaktion Books in England.
2) Interesting letter about science and crow folklore from a recent issue of Science.
-- Dave Aftandilian, "Smart Crows Win Out," Science, 3 January 2002, p. 45
"There is a story about a smart crow, which has been told and retold to children in Indian households for many generations. A thirsty crow comes across a flask half filled with water. As it tries to drink the water through the narrow opening of the flask, the crow realizes that it cannot do so because the water level is lower than its beak can reach. Because the crow is smart, it comes up with a solution. It collects pebbles, one by one, and drops them into the flask. Gradually, the flask is filled with pebbles and the water level rises enough for the crow to be able to comfortably drink. The crow drinks the water and, satisfied, flies away. The moral of the story: be smart like this crow. I was wondering if the authors of the recent Brevia [article] Shaping of hooks in New Caledonian crows (A.A.S. Weir et al., 9 Aug., p. 981) could try out this experiment with a host of New Caledonian and perhaps some Indian crows. In my view, this experiment represents an even more complex problem-solving task. If successful, not only will it solidify their theory, it could also tell something about the origins of folklore."
-Vishwas Parekh, Experimental Hematology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
What is the difference between a crow and a raven?
Crows and ravens, although in the same genus (Corvus) are different birds. (Think of leopards and tigers; both are in the genus Panthera, and are obviously related, but they are quite distinct animals.) The words "crow" and "raven" themselves have little or no real taxonomic meaning. That is, the Australian "ravens" are more closely related to the Australian "crows" than they are to the Common Raven (Corvus corax). In general, the biggest black species, usually with shaggy throat feathers, are called ravens and the smaller species are considered crows.
Common Ravens can be told from American Crows by a couple of things. The size difference, which is huge, is only useful with something else around to compare them with. Ravens are as big as Red-tailed Hawks, and crows are, well, crow sized. The wedge-shaped tail of the raven is a good character, if you can see it well. Crows sometimes show an apparent wedge shape to the tail, but almost never when it is fanned as the bird soars or banks (except for a brief time during molt in the summer).
More subtle characters include: ravens soar more than crows. If you see a "crow" soaring for more than a few seconds, check it a second time. Crows never do the somersault in flight that Common Ravens often do. Ravens are longer necked in flight than crows. The larger bill of the raven can be seen in flight, but it is actually less apparent than the long neck. Raven wings are shaped differently than are crow wings, with longer primaries ("fingers") with more slotting between them. As my neighbor said, "Ravens are the ones whose wings you can see through." The longer primaries make the wings look more bent at the wrist than a crow as the bird flies, and the "hand" portion can look nearly pointed.
If seen perched in a good look, the huge bill and shaggy throat of a raven are diagnostic. The upper and lower edges of the bill are parallel for most of their length (3/4?) in ravens, while in crows the downward curve starts somewhere around 2/3 of the way out for males, and about halfway for females.
But remember, ravens are pretty uncommon around here [Ithaca, NY]. If you see a "really big crow!", chances are good that it really is a crow. Yes, there are large crows and small ones, but you couldn't ever tell which was which. Any difference in size (380g - 660g is the weight range around here; 800 - 950 mm wingspan) among individuals is not detectable, in that the range of appearance of a single crow (by fluffing or sleeking its feathers) is greater.
American Crows make the familiar "caw-caw," but also have a large repertoire of rattles, clicks, and even clear bell-like notes. However, they never give anything resembling the most common calls of Common Ravens. The most familiar call of a raven is a deep, reverberating croaking or "gronk-gronk." Only occasionally will a raven make a call similar to a crow's "caw" but even then it is so deep as to be fairly easily distinguished from a real crow. Ravens also make a huge variety of different notes. It has been said (attributed to native Americans) that if you hear something in the forest that you cannot identify (assuming you know all the common forest sounds), it is a raven.
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Created 2003; last update 8/16/09
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