Early Book Review: Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard

Lila and the Crow is a picturebook by Gabrielle Grimard which is currently scheduled for release on October 11 2016. Lila has just moved to a new town and can't wait to make friends at school. On the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl's hair is black like a crow!” The others whisper and laugh, and Lila's heart grows as heavy. The next day, Lila covers her hair. But this time, the boy points at her dark skin. When she covers her face, he mocks her dark eyes. Now every day at school, Lila hides under her turtleneck, dark glasses, and hat. And every day when she goes 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 approaching. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever. At her lowest point of despair, a special encounter with the crow opens Lila's eyes to the beauty of being different, and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.
Lila and the Crow is a heartfelt look at how it feels to be different, picked on, and self conscious. Lila is new, and just wants to make friends. she is teased just because she looks different, not because of her actions or personality. While only one person is doing the teasing, no one stands up for her which only makes her heart heavier. It is only when she embraces, in fact flaunts, what makes her different that the words of others no longer have power over her.

While most people, regardless of age, have felt this way at some point, it is important to show your children that if they are feeling bad about being different for any reason, they are not alone. the story shows those that feel left out that they are not alone. It can be used to start discussions on what makes everyone different and why we should embrace those characteristics rather than try to hide them. It could also be used to show how a fellow classmate or two standing up and not joining in the laughter or offering to play might have stopped Lila from being so sad and lonely for the majority of the book. There are so many wonderful ways to use this book to start important discussions as a family, in a classroom, or in a storytime stetting that I think it is a must read. 
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