A Crow of his Own

When Larry, a prize-winning rooster, takes off for new opportunities, Farmer Jay and Farmer Kevin replace him with Clyde. When the farm animals see the scrawny new bird for the first time, they say things like “Uh-oh” and, “Not much pep in his step.” A group of chickens ignores him, because they are too busy declaring their love for Larry in the dirt with their feet.

A motherly goose named Roberta steps in to help Clyde when she sees him worrying about living up to Larry’s “cock-a-doodle-doo.” After several failures (“He had a crick in his comb, his right wing was all wrong, and his wattle? Well, his wattle was a wobbly wreck”), Clyde learns that he doesn’t need to impress the others with showmanship and props. He just needs to be himself and that is enough to make him stand out from the other farm animals. Costello’s ( who worked on the movie set for Spider-Man) watercolor illustrations are realistic in style.

Sunrise Farms, which runs on wind power, looks like an animal paradise. There are no fences on the property. The farmers are always smiling, and the animals have a pond to play in. The animals speak in humorous dialogue balloons; occasionally acting like people (they watch Larry on TV and read the newspaper).

When reading this book aloud to children, for added fun, have them make the loud noise near the end of the book. The author tells us a humorous story, but there’s also a positive message in there about self-acceptance, and not assuming the worst of others based on first impressions. Books are incorporated into many of the scenes as well; tying together learning with reading. To win a copy of this book, be the sixth person to email me good name for a rooster to [email protected]