Young Liz is excited to be on her first hunting adventure with her dad who has just returned home from war; but she is also uneasy: her father has been gone so long that he and she are practically strangers. There are other things to get used to also: her new, too-large plaid flannel shirt from the dry goods store, the unfamiliarity of the breakfast fare on the menu at the diner, and the chilling changes that November brings to the woods Liz walks with her father, who, with gun in hand, is intent on killing the crows who have been eating the farm crops. Liz has been put in charge of luring the crows with a crow call whistle. It makes her sad to think that the crows will have to die, and she confides this and other feelings to her father as they make their way through to a hillside clearing. When the time comes for calling the crows, Liz is so delighted interacting with the birds that have gathered that her father holds his fire to share in her delight.
Based on a true happening from the author’s childhood, this story is set in 1945, but will be relevant to modern-day children whose parents return from service or other long-term absences and must form bonds again. The beautiful illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline are rich in detail and atmosphere, with muted tones that reflect both the seasonal setting and the nostalgic tone of the narration.
In picture book format, this story would make a read-aloud at home or in a classroom, as well as a good selection for primary independent readers and up. Older adults may enjoy it, too, and it could serve to spark memories and stories of their own, to share in a family or other group setting.
Send a Question or Comment to Appleton Public Library.