"Suddenly, a young black crow swooped down from the sky and landed on Patch's head."

Willie is a unique young crow. He is learning to fly, but not without some challenges. It is during one of his practice flights that he meets Doc and Patch, two hunting dogs. Crows and dogs do not normally interact, but this is no ordinary crow. He begins spending time with this family of dogs. Patch, still a puppy, loves to chase Willie. They learn about each other as they play. However, Patch’s Uncle Zeke is not thrilled with this new friendship. One day, Patch gets into a dangerous situation. Willie is frightened but jumps into action. He calls her dad and brother to rescue her. They all must work together—even Uncle Zeke— if they are going to save her.

This action-packed story will spark the imagination of young readers. Harkey is a gifted storyteller and has created interesting and diverse characters. She skillfully uses friendly dialogue and adventure to offer lessons in friendship, inclusion, and courage. The author, a former educator, understands the importance of appropriate reading-level vocabulary while introducing new words. The plot and theme of the narrative are cohesive and easily followed. Meanwhile, Mike Minick’s illustrations are sharp, vivid, and inviting. He artfully infuses the tale with movement. His portrayal of the animals endears them to the reader. Emotions are conveyed through the images, adding depth and sensitivity. His artistic talent complements Harkey’s writing skills. Children will enjoy this book, whether it is read out loud or individually. It captures the imagination with comedy, adventure, and emotion. It would be a great addition to a classroom or personal collection.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home