Animals in Literature

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Hello, Crow!

Franny has a new friend—a crow who brings her presents in its beak. Franny’s dad doesn’t believe her that a crow would bring gifts to a human. He doesn’t think that crows and kids can be friends. How will Franny convince her dad that her crow friend is real? And what will the crow bring her next?

Why use this book?

  • Demonstrates the intelligence of crows and features an animal that is normally seen as a nuisance, in a positive and realistic manner.
  • Highlights the strong connection that people have with animals
  • Showcases the benefits of curiosity in young people, along with the importance of observing one’s surroundings, and the advantages (learning opportunities) that may come from observing animals.

Animal Welfare Considerations:

  • While Franny’s intentions were good, there are several interactions between Franny and the crow (including the illustration on the cover) that people should avoid to safeguard both animals and people.
    • Feeding birds: Feeding birds people food is not recommended. Birds have specialized diets and often human food lacks nutrients that birds require.
    • Touching/holding birds: Birds can carry zoonotic diseases (diseases that transfer from animals to people and vice versa). Additionally, birds, and other wildlife can become habituated to people.
  • Remind students that while observing wildlife, it is critical to be respectful by giving the animal space, being quiet, observing from a distance and avoiding disturbing them. Never touch or feed wildlife as this can result in injury or harm to the animal and person.
  • Would a crow bring a gift? Yes! Crows have been known to bring and leave items for people known as “gifting.”

Ask Your Students:

  • Should people and crows be friends? If so, how would this “friendship” differ from friendships with other people? With pets?
  • Although crows are naturally jumpy and fearful of people, they can learn to trust people over time when given food. Is it in the crow’s (or any wild animal) best interest to get them comfortable to people? Why or why not?
  • What does it mean to demonstrate respect? How can we demonstrate respect to wildlife like crows? How do we demonstrate respect for our pets? How do we demonstrate respect for others?
  • How can you tell a bird is a crow? What do crows eat? (these questions are covered in the back of the book).

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • For additional information on just how smart crows are, read this BBC article.
  • For a video of crows bringing gifts, watch this short BBC video.
  • The Nature of Things has a documentary about the inner life of crows “A Murder of Crows”


Candace Savage, 2019


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