Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Pamela S. Turner
Illustrator: Andy Comins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Crows are usually thought of as dark, creepy animals, but the findings of Gavin Hunt, a scientist who studies New Caledonian crows, give a different picture. Crows are actually the world’s brightest birds. They use tools, like humans, and creatively capture their prey. The author and photographer make readers feel like they’re in New Caledonia studying crows. Next time readers hear crows communicating, they might think twice about their obnoxious sound, and more about what it might mean.
This book is intended for children ages ten to fourteen. It appears to be a children’s picture book, which doesn’t usually appeal to children in seventh and eighth grade. By then, they are more excited about chapter books, if they like reading at all. It might appeal to children better if it was the size of a chapter book or looked like a book a bird watcher might take notes in. This book also has intense vocabulary for children of those ages. The humor will keep older readers and adults, if they pick up this book, engaged. It dispels common myths about crows and gives readers a glimpse into the life and mind of a scientist.