The Crows of Pearblossom

Images and text by Carter.

The legacy of story is something I ponder over quite a bit. It’s a reminder of connectedness to our roots and one another. And that’s why there’s something extra special about this one, The Crows of Pearblossom, by Aldous Huxley. Yes, Brave New World’s Aldous Huxley! It’s his only book for children, and he wrote it in 1944 for his niece, Olivia, as a Christmas gift.

This edition was illustrated by Sophie Blackall 67 years later, and her pictures offer sweeping panoramas of this trickster tale. The Crow family finds a sneaky snake has been gulping up all of Mrs. Crow’s eggs. She is devastated, and rightfully so, right? The debonair Mr. Crow enlists the help of Old Man Owl to outsmart that wily, wriggly beast. This combination of old, timeless story with modern details is just delightful. And speaking of delightful, Mrs. Crow shops for polenta and wears dainty pearls. Owl sports bunny slippers, and Mr. Crow’s pockets are lined with ballpoint pens. It’s almost too, too much!

P.S. – I remember one Saturday morning, arriving at the library before the doors opened. When the librarians unlocked them to let the milling crowd in, my dad nudged me and whispered, “Hurry up, before they get all the good books!” It’s one of my earliest (and most favorite!) memories as a reader. Do you have any stories like that to share?

The Crows of Pearblossom