Friday, February 26, 2010

Ten Rowdy Ravens - Susan Ewing

Illustrated by Evon Zerbetz
Alaska Northwest Books, 2005
32 pgs.
For: kids a bit older than the usual "counting book" age...
Rating: 4.5
Endpapers: Large purple and lavender squares with numbers and cutouts of ravens

First of all, this book is just gorgeous. The illustrations are from carved linoleum prints that are then hand-colored. They're beautfiul. And secondly, the word choices, the alliteration, the writing is clever and deosn't talk down to kids.

"Eight rougish ravens
Pilfer piles of loot,
Cheater swipes some pretty pearls,
Seven give pursuit."

"Five unruly ravens
Gobble up chop suey
Noodles make a bellyache,
Now there's four. Aw, phooey!"

That was a lot of alliterative "r" adjectives! And at the end of the book, a 7-page "Daily Kaw", True News from Around the Raven World, that includes true stories of mischievous ravens, information about these trickster birds, and even "Corvid Classifieds" - all done with superb humor.

I went through a second time for a really close examination of the illustrations. Fantastic!

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