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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
Summary: Curio is lonely. Mr. Crow has been gone a very long time, and he is worried about his friend. Just as he and Susan are getting ready to visit some friends, Mr. Crow returns, and they renew their acquaintance. They are so excited about the friendship, that new friends join their group. This chapter book offers readers a chance to fantasize about what dogs and crows talk about!
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Young Reader Reaction: Getting through this book (the sequel to Curio Meets Mr. Crow) was not easy. Our usually imaginative five-year-old did not enjoy the plot at all. Teen audience review: The book has an attractive cover; the print is large; and the page layout is 15 lines. I liked that because it can be taken in by the reader's eye in short and doable sections. A friendship between a crow and a dog is unusual. What makes the book pleasant are the question-and-answer conversations. The book shows different levels of the relationship between an animal and his friends. For example, Crow has talked to his brother about Curio, and his brother agreed to deliver news while Crow is away. He will talk to her, but does not want to sit on the rail near her. Maybe some gentle persuasion could have been entered here, such as "If I can do it, so can you."
Adult Reader Reaction: Reading with the mindset that this may be valuable for children struggling with reading, the story was "acceptable" ... until the part where Mr. Crow and Curio were going to create a secret code. Then it became ridiculous.
Pros: For people who wonder what their dog is thinking or saying, this book offers one interpretation of what's going on.
Cons: The characters come from nowhere. Curio and Susan may know who they are, but they are not introduced within the style or structure of the rest of the story.
Borrow or Buy: Skip it. The "for all ages" was definitely a hard sell in our house.