Review: The Crows of Pearblossom By Aldous Huxley
By Tina Vasquez, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 28, 2011
by Aldous Huxley (Author), Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers (March, 2011)
For anyone who’s ever taken a high school English class, the name “Aldous Huxley” may ring a bell. That’s because the English writer was the author of Brave New World, a now classic piece of literature about a futuristic society. In the children’s book The Crows of Pearblossom, we get to see a different, softer side to the prolific writer.
In this charming tale we’re introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Crow, who live in a cottonwood tree above an old rattlesnake. Mrs. Crow, a devoted wife and avid homemaker, has wanted baby crows of her own for years and can’t quite figure out what happens to her eggs when she goes off to the market each day. The astute reader will quickly figure out that the old rattlesnake is the one eating Mrs. Crow’s eggs each day, but when she finds out one afternoon it comes as quite the shock.
When Mrs. Crow informs her husband of what the rattlesnake has been doing, Mr. Crow and his friend Old Man Owl devise an ingenious plan to teach the rattlesnake a lesson and keep him from eating any more of Mrs. Crow’s eggs.
It’s a simple, sweet story, but what really brings it to life are the brilliant illustrations created by Sophie Blackall, who gives each creature in The Crows of Pearblossom an infinite amount of charm and character. From Mr. Crow’s hat and briefcase and Mrs. Crow’s pearl necklace and polka dot dress to the rattlesnake’s “rattle watch” and Old Man Owl’s bunny rabbit slippers, Blackall has created an intricate world that these soon-to-be-beloved creatures inhabit. Hopefully, this delightful tale will become a classic, much like Huxley’s other works.
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