A Crow: Named Pedro?
by Mr. Joseph

"Hawks do eat crows, but Lady Hawk passed a law for her clan not to play with Mr. Crow, for it is not right to ever play with your food before eating it."

This book for children is short and consists of only two stories. Similar to many of Aesop’s fables, the stories involve animals that take on human characteristics. The first tale is about a fox and a flea. Try as he might, the fox can’t seem to scratch the flea off him. So he devises a wily plan to separate himself from his tiny annoyance. Young readers or bedtime listeners of this yarn read to them by their elders will be exposed to the value of lateral thinking to solve problems.

The second story is somewhat longer and involves Pedro, the crow named in the title. Both history and nature play a role in this chronicle. It begins in the Arizona desert and includes a multiplicity of animals that make up a sort of self-governing body that simply cannot seem to agree on much of anything. As the protagonist, Pedro, encounters obstacles to overcome for both himself and his growing family, children will encounter information about the early inhabitants of the area, as well as harsh realities about the sometimes brutal nature of survival in the animal kingdom.

Throughout both narratives, however, author Joseph maintains a gentle tone that is appropriate for small children. His simple storytelling should prove easy for young minds to follow, enjoy, and remember. Charmingly colorful illustrations also lend entertaining vitality throughout that will likely bring smiles to tiny tykes’ faces. This pleasant book will likely be most enjoyed when shared between parents or grandparents and their kids.

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