Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Cantankerous Crow (The)
by Lennart Hellsing
Age Range: 6-8
Crow lives with his crow father, crow mother, four crow sisters and a crow brother. Despite being told to stay out of the nearby farmer’s garden full of cherry trees the naughty crow sneaks in there every day for a treat. Eventually he is caught and the farmer decides to punish him by forcing him to work. However, the cantankerous crow manages to wreak complete havoc wherever he goes. Exasperated, the farmer takes the crow to sell at market – but who is likely to want to buy a troublesome crow?
The Cantankerous Crow was created by Swedish author Lennart Hellsing (1919-2015) and Danish illustrator Poul Strřyer (1923-1996) in 1953. In the story behind The Cantankerous Crow, (at the back of the book), told from memory to his daughter in 2015, Hellsing says they were inspired by folk tales about crows who mischievously lie in wait for country folk.
The story is told in rhyme, and while not particularly sophisticated, its simplicity works well with Strřyer’s whimsical artwork. It is the visual narrative that really sings. The characters are so full of expression: whether it’s the crow family with the four crow sisters and their artistic pursuits, the farmer’s garden full of cherry trees, the crow throwing a bucket of water over a cat, the lush green landscape spread or the market scene with a young boy mimicking a Policeman, they all convey a tremendous sense of fun. There is definitely a retro feel to this book too and together with the pages of uncoated paper it helps to create the feeling of a true classic.