Title: LILA AND THE CROW
Author: GABRIELLE GRIMARD
Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION, BULLYING, PREJUDICE
Length: 32 PAGES
Publisher: ANNICK PRESS
Release Date: OCTOBER 11, 2016
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I think this children’s book has been released at a time when our world really needs to absorb and to believe in the message it contains. We need to embrace the diversity that makes North America so special and it is especially important that we teach our children love rather than hate and tolerance rather than judgement.
In this story Lila experiences both discrimination and bullying based solely on her appearance. Unfortunately, this is often what happens in real life and the children who are targeted are often unsure as to how to deal with it. This is also true of Lila.
Although Lila’s race is never specifically mentioned, it is clear to me that her ancestry is aboriginal and this story is a fable in the style of all aboriginal tales going back hundreds of years. As with those tales of old, this story features an animal who is central to the plot.
When Lila’s family moves to a new town, she is excited about meeting and making new friends when school begins. However, her hopes are shattered when on her first day of school when a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is black like a crow!” On her way home she is upset and barely notices the crow that tries to get her attention.
The next day she covers her hair, thinking this will stop the bullying. However, the boy points at her dark skin and taunts her about that instead. When she covers her face, he makes fun of her dark eyes. From that day on, Lila hides under a turtleneck, dark glasses, and a hat, but the taunting and bullying continue.
Every day on her way home, she sees a crow who seems to want to tell her something. Lila ignores the bird and even throws rocks at it, but it won’t go away.
Meanwhile, the great autumn festival is coming up soon. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever.
At her lowest point of despair, she has a magical encounter with the crow who opens Lila’s eyes to the beauty of being different. This gives Lila the courage to proudly embrace her true self. And the kids at school learn a powerful lesson.
We, as parents and as members of a diverse society sometimes need to be reminded that words can hurt and that our children are vulnerable. We need to teach our children to judge people not on their religion or on the colour of their skin, but rather on their character and on their actions. This book will open their eyes and reinforces the beauty of diversity.
I love the message contained within this book and I believe it is important.
I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I think every parent, every school, and every library should own a copy of this book.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After studying Fine Arts at Concordia University, Art Education at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and a few years as a painter and muralist on the island of Montreal, Gabrielle took a more solid direction towards youth-illustration with the birth of her son in 2001.
In recent years, she has mainly been involved with publishing geared towards a youth audience, educational publishing and a bit of advertising as well.
She has worked with several Quebec publishers, including Dominiqueet Cie., Imagine,la Bagnole and HMH.
She has also worked with such Canadian publishers as Orca Books and AnnickPress. Since 2007, she has worked with Painted-Words which is a New York-based agency for Illustrators. This opportunity has given her access to the U.S. and British markets within the children’s publishing industry.
If her style remains traditional, it is mostly full of poetry. She loves being able to translate through drawing the world in which she wants to live.
She loves working light, and different levels and patterns. To create an album, her research work involves various media and it’s a process that she loves, but her favourite aspect will always be colour. She uses mainly watercolours, gouache and oil, which she combines together on watercolour-cardboard. She likes watercolour for its lightness, gouache for its intensity of colours, and oil for the depth it offers within which I delve with happiness every time. In all, I add a touch of wooden pencil for the details which fly in the wind.
To find out more about this wonderful author/illustrator visit the following links: