This is an elegant, entertaining, and informative look at some of the more familiar birds of the genus Corvus (‘corvids’ or, commonly, ‘crows’). A relatively short book (about 100 pages), it introduces various themes evoked by the observation and study of—and human interaction with—crows and their relatives through the ages, right up to present-day encounters and scientific research. The book is so beautifully rendered, with uncluttered pages of lyrical, accessible prose recounting both fact and fable, interspersed with photographs, paintings, drawings, that it seems almost unbelievable that all it contains could fit so spaciously and simply in such a small and lovely physical volume.
Crows’ and ravens’ impact on human emotions, and how our fascination with these « wise guys » has led us to learn ever more about their minds and social lives (which turns up unexpected commonalities and kinship between our two species)—these are the foci that give the book its impetus and readability. A pleasure to both hold and behold; a wonderful gift for anyone who appreciates the interconnectedness of all living things.