Michele Landsberg
March 09, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rainbow Crow

Current Status
In Season
Nancy Van laan
Kids and Family

We gave it an A

A Native American tale, Rainbow Crow is one of the finest of its kind. In soft, radiant colors, Beatriz Vidal evokes a landscape alive with delicately drawn birds and other animals.

The warm, happy time ”before the Two=Legged walked the earth” is threatened when the first snow falls and nearly buries the smallest animals. Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful and melodious of all the birds, flies to the Great Sky Spirit and wings back with the gift of fire to melt the snow.

Crow saves his friends, but at the cost of his beauty. The smoke and flames have blackened his glorious feathers and burned his voice to a croak. Crow is devastated until the Great Spirit tells him his black feathers will shine with the reflection of all the colors on Earth.

What distinguishes this book is the clear, calm beauty of its pictures and the story’s complex emotions. The simple narrative strikes a chord of childlike wonder at the discovery of the natural world, the warmth of friendship, and the tentative dawning of pride in one’s identity. A

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