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Ten Rowdy Ravens Review by Marla G. Nowak

By Susan Ewing
Alaska Northwest Books
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
3019 NW Yeon
Portland Oregon 97210

If you like ravens you will probably enjoy Susan Ewing's, Ten Rowdy Ravens. Some clever wording and rowdy birds combine to make feathers fly. If you want to learn more about raven behavior this picture book may be right for you. However, if you are looking specifically for a traditional counting book, there are better ones.

The strength of this picture book is the ability to convey the essence of the "reckless raven." Corvid fans will enjoy the mischievous number countdown as ravens vanish one by one from the pages. The Daily Kaw appendix, written in newspaper form, contains amusing articles about the daring ravens. The articles, while interesting, may not appeal to the counting book crowd. On the flip side, the newspaper articles give the book appeal for a broader age group.

Fans of bold and busy illustrations will applaud the illustrator's ability to capture raven activity. While I liked one or two of the linocut drawings, I'm not a big fan of the style.

Final thoughts, this book will go on a shelf to be enjoyed, but will not be in my "high shelf" collection of special books. While I can't totally "rave" about it, the children did seem to enjoy the story and it is a book we will reread. There is a nice study guide available on Ms. Ewing's web site to accompany the book.

-- Product Review by Marla G. Nowak, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2006