Author: Kathi Appelt
Illustrator: Rob Dunlavey
Published: March 3, 2015 by Atheneum
Goodreads Summary: Help hungry crows avoid a feline foe in this clever concept book from the author of The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath.
One, two, three, crows in a tree, bedecked in red scarves and hungry as can be. So they fly out of their nest with snacking in mind, and snack they do. Snack one, snack two, snack three—all the way to a dozen! But before they have time to complain about bellyaches, they have a bigger problem: a cat has been eyeing them…as potential snacks! Can these well-fed crows become well-FLED crows? Read and find out in this counting book from Newbery Finalist and two-time National Book Award Nominee Kathi Appelt, with spot-on illustrations from Rob Dunlavey. It’s the cat’s meow!
Ricki’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: The pairing of Appelt’s strong, lyrical language, and the simplicity of the Dunlavey’s artwork make this picture book a whimsical, memorable counting book. As a mom, I have grown tired of counting books. They are important, so I keep reading them to my son (just as elementary school teachers will continue to read them to children). This book is different. The language is poetic and fresh, and it rolled off my tongue. The contrast between the pencil drawings of the setting and the black beaks and bright red coloring of the crows’ clothing shows off both the beauty of Appelt’s language and the cleverness of Dunlavey’s artwork. I was impressed by this book and am not surprised it has received three starred reviews thus far. I would ask creative writing students to analyze the structure, language, and artwork of this text. I think they would find its cleverness and innovation to be inspirational for their own work.
Kellee’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I agree with everything that Ricki said above. This unique counting book’s rhythmic, rhyming language mixed with good vocabulary, a chance to look at multiplication, and a story that is more than it seems really makes this book a good read for kids and adults. The poetic writing almost makes the book sing-song-y which I love in a rhyming book. But I think my favorite thing about the books is the crows. They remind me of the whimsical crows in Dumbo. I can just see those crows playing around and singing the book as they fly around.
Discussion Questions: How is this book structured to make the writing effective?; In what ways does Kathi Appelt use language creatively?; Why isn’t this book more colorful? Do you think this is intentional?
Book trailer created by Kathi’s son, Cooper Appelt, and his wife, Laurel Kathleen.
Read This if You Loved: Zero by Kathryn Otoshi (or her other counting books); Richard Scarry’s Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry; Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book by Karen Katz; Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
See our Guest Post by Kathi Appelt Here!
**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing copies for review!**