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THE COMPANY OF CROWS by Marilyn Singer

THE COMPANY OF CROWS

A Book of Poems

By Marilyn Singer (Author) , Linda Saport (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-08340-5
Publisher: Clarion

Crows and more crows fill the pages of this collection of poems. As she indicates in an introductory poem, Singer (Boo Hoo, Boo-Boo, p. 579, etc.) attempts to present crows from every possible point of view, including that of the crows themselves. Some humans see the crow as a practical joker, a nuisance; some watch and comment upon their habits. A movie critic comments upon their use as symbols of fear, while an artist and poet see their beauty. Even pigs, dogs, and other birds express their opinion. The crows admire themselves and their talents. Although some of the poems work better than others, most of them read as prose, engaging neither the ear nor the heart. The format is a bit confusing. Each poem appears as part of a two-page spread, with the title sometimes far enough away from the text so it may be overlooked. Not that the titles, such as “The Father,” “The Boy,” and “The Youngster,” are interesting or even helpful, although they do give a clue as to the narrator. Some of the titles are repeated and can represent a human or animal voice. Saport’s (Before You Were Born, p. 893, etc.) vivid pastels, while richly colorful, are mundane depictions of the most basic action of the text. The author’s note at the end of the work is actually more engaging than everything that precedes it because it demonstrates a real love and understanding of the birds. An illustrated nonfiction account of crows and their habits might have been much more successful—see Pringle, above. (Poetry. 7-9)