By: Taro Yashima
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0 14 050.172X
I know there are many people out there who can relate to Crow Boy. He felt out of place when he was in school because of his differences from the other children. He is shy and small compare to other children in his class. Therefore he isolated himself from the rest of them on the first day of school.
Crow Boy was made fun of. The children in his class call him Chibi “tiny boy” as well as “stupid.” Throughout the first part of the book he was called “Chibi.” They find him strange because he was afraid of the teacher and the children. He couldn’t learn and couldn’t make any friends. He was left alone during study time and, play time. He was always on the end of the line, at the foot of the class.
Since Chibi had so much free time alone he had to find things to keep him busy. Chibi would watch the ceiling, watch the wooden top of his desk, and look out the window. In the playground he would close his eyes and listened to different sounds, near and far. Chibi was doing this for the first five years of school. Then finally came along a new teacher name Mr. Isobe.
Mr. Isobe was Chibi’s six grade teacher. He was a great guy. It almost made me cry reading about what Mr. Isobe did for Chibi. I believe in life everyone comes across an inspiring teacher, one that really cares. I would never forget the teacher that inspired me throughout my last two years of high school. I saw myself failing and walking down the wrong path in life and hated school. During that time I never thought I would finish high school but thank god for one wonderful teacher. Because of the one special person from school I am who I am now. Mr. Isobe helped Chibi overcome his shyness and made him feel bigger. He also helped Chibi earn the name “Crow Boy.” If it’s not for the wonderful teacher Chibi wouldn’t had the opportunity to share his talent to the rest of the children.
I chose this book because children can relate to Crow Boy. Everyone feels out of place once in their life time. People get made fun of regardless of size, race, gender, and for whatever other reason. If Chibi was not made fun of for being different, he might not have picked up the talent of imitating the voices of crows. A talent that Chibi didn’t even know it’s so great. I loved how the author shows that Chibi took his experiences and transformed them into something so big. The book shows children as long as they don’t give up they could overcome their fear with a little help from someone special. Don’t be scared because you have a talent that no one else has. Overall the book is very well illustrated, touching and exciting, a story that we can all relate to. Especially being Asian myself I could totally understand where “Chibi” is coming from. This book can be used in the classroom for many themes: Teaching children that everyone is different and making text to self connections.