Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Six Crows by Leo Leonni

Leo Leonni is a veteran picture book author/illustrator and his style is very recognizable. In this story six crows keep invading the farmer's wheat field. The farmer puts up a scarecrow to keep them away, but then they build a scare-kite to frighten the farmer. The farmer makes a bigger scarecrow and the crows make a bigger kite. Soon the wheat begins to wilt because the farmer is no longer taking care of it. A wise owl suggests the crows and farmers talk out their differences, and both parties come to an amicable agreement. It is a very simple text, written like a spoken folktale, with only a few sentences per page. Though the story is simple, Lionni's message about talking over problems comes across clearly. Lionni uses cut paper of various textures to make simple but appealing illustrations. The simplicity of the illustrations match the spare text to make a nicely balanced whole.

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