Claws Pause for Caws: Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt
TEN CRUNCHY CRICKETS,
TEN GREEN PEPPERS.
TEN FOR THE COUNTING CROWS.
YEP, YEP, YEPPERS!
Crows just wanna have lunch, and these guys are on the hunt for tasty tidbits and hearty handouts.
They're solid omnivores, sampling bugs and berries, mangoes with a chaser of spicy ants, crispy peanuts and pre-sampled trashcan pizza! They'll sing for their supper, too!
CAW! CAW! CAW!
Lithe and stylishly turned out in peppermint-striped tunics, one with polka-dotted scarf, these trendy crows are likely to pose--adorning tree limbs, arranging themselves artistically on telephone wires, lounging in their untidy, twiggy nests, and soaring down to check out overturned trash bins for munchy morsels. They grack and grabble, caw and crackle!
But the troika of crows are not the only ones on the hunt. There's this red-scarfed feline who's got a yen for a tea-time poultry treat who's already on the prowl. Will nature take its course when the hunters become the hunted? And where did that cat get that familiar-looking scarf anyway?
The rhyming couplets count up to a dozen, in Kathi Appelt's newest, Counting Crows (Atheneum Press, 2015). Appelt, a Newbery and National Book Award honoree for long-form fiction (The Underneath), as well as a multiple award winner for her picture book format favorites (see reviews here), shows her love for words and wordplay in a creative counting book that belies its well-worn genre. Artist Rob Dunlavey's black crows put even the venerable Heckle and Jeckle in the back seat for concept and execution on each invitingly well-designed page. It's well worth caw-caw-cawghing up the cost of this cawllosal counting lesson for the preschool or early reader!
As Kirkus cackles in their starred review, "This is a real counting fest, as not only the crows, but the food they collect—-berries, bugs and snacks—-are fodder for the counting game and for improving reading skills at the same time."