Book of the Week: The Crows of Pearblossom

July 29, 2013

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

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{ 1 trackback }

The Baby Tree « Design of the Picture Book
May 27, 2014 at 6:28 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 danielle July 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

I love the story about your dad at the library. Wonderful, the race for books.

And Sophie Blackall is one of the very best illustrators!

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2 Carter Higgins July 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Love!

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3 Julie Rowan-Zoch July 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I am also a big fan of the book, and have a soft spot for Barbara Cooney’s version too.

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4 Carter Higgins July 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Do you have it? It’s out of print, I believe. Will keep my eyes out for it forever!

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5 Hadlay August 23, 2013 at 3:11 am

Your little anecdote at the end made me smile. One of my fondest memories is visiting the library every Saturday morning with my mom. She started taking me as soon as I learnt how to read in Grade 1. I remember when I started Grade 3, I ran to the picture book corner of the library, my mother scolded me and told me that I am a big boy now and I needed to move on to “thicker” books. Goodbye Roger Rabbit, hello Goosebumps :)

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