Those calculating crows! / by Alice P. Wakefield ; pictures by Christy Hale.

When Roy tries to keep a flock of crows away from his corn crop, it appears that these birds know how to count.

Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Wakefield, Ali.
Other Authors: Hale, Christy, (Illustrator)
Format: Book
Published: New York, N.Y. : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c1996.
Edition:1st ed.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Hale's (Juan Bobo and the Pig) witty gouaches are all but wasted on this faltering tale, allegedly based on an experiment proving that crows can count up to seven. This premise, explained only in a prefatory note, serves as a shaky foundation for a story about a farmer trying to outwit a flock of impertinent crows that are consuming his newly sprouted corn. The farmer, Roy, plans to chase the crows out of his fields and hide in a shed until they return, at which point he'll fire his gun into the air and scare away the brazen birds for good. Alas, the shrewd crew stays away until Roy returns home. He brings in more people, one by one, to wait with him in the shed, but the calculating crows realize each time that one more person has entered than left the shed... until the number reaches eight. Repetitious and often confusing, the text revolves around a grating cumulative rhyme ("Crows are not dumb, they count to ONE. It must be true, a few count to TWO...). Hale gamely supplies comic crow's-eye perspectives on the baffled humans as well as a handful of visual riffs depicting the birds learning math in a classroom and applying their number skills to playing poker and pool and trading on a crow-crowded stock exchange floor. Imaginative as these vignettes are, however, they add another distraction to an already circuitous story. Whatever subtraction lesson may be intended here ends up in the negative column. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved