Children's Books

CROW AND HAWK, written by Michael Rosen, illustrated by John Clementson. Harcourt Brace & Company, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101, (800) 543-1918, (800) 235-0256 FAX. Illustrated. 32 pp., $15.00 cloth. 0-15-200257-X

In this Pueblo Indian tale that parallels the Baby Jessica adoption case, Crow lays her eggs in a nest, tires of constantly sitting on it, and flies off. Hawk finds the eggs and decides to sit on "these poor little eggs" herself. They hatch, and Hawk rears the baby crows as her own. Later, Crow returns and wants the babies back, since she laid the eggs. Hawk replies that she sat on the eggs and fed and raised the hatchlings, so they do not belong to Crow anymore. Crow goes to Eagle, king of the birds, and is told that since she left the nest, she has "lost the children." It's hard to imagine this story being a Pueblo tale, since all of the traditional elements have been stripped away and the story reads like a newspaper report. This blandness also extends to Clementson's paper collages, which he attempts to frame with an extremely unoriginal Indian pattern. There are only a few white authors who have been successful at retelling Native American stories, and Rosen fails miserably. Though the story may or may not be authentic, his lack of feeling in telling it is quite evident. Grade: C-. Reviewed by Steve Brock

File: ch22

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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated: Monday, March 11, 1996 - 11:37:17 AM