Candace Savage is the award-winning author of more than two dozen books. Hello, Crow! will be available September 24!
What inspired you to write about a friendship between a girl and a crow?Over the years, a lot of people have told me stories about their special relationships with crows: The crow that accompanied an elderly woman on her daily walks around the neighbourhood. The crow that came out every day to bow and coo to a man who ate his lunch in a parking lot. The crow that singled out one particular person for raucous attacks. My favourite story features an eight-year-old girl named Gabi Mann who fed crows in her Seattle backyard. When the crows began to reciprocate by bringing in small objects, Gabi treasured the gifts as proof that the crows loved her. So, although Hello, Crow! is fiction, it was inspired by a true story. You can read about it here.
Hello, Crow! celebrates the wonders and magic of nature for children. This feels rare in an era of smart phones and Netflix. Do you think children today have lost interest in the natural world, or is there something else at play?
In his seminal book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv identifies “nature-deficit disorder” as an affliction of today’s children. But I think he would agree that the cause of this malaise is not a lack of interest in nature among young people but a lack of guidance and encouragement from the adults in their lives. As parents and grandparents, it is our job to accompany children into the wild world, embracing its wonder and helping to manage the risks. In other words, we have a responsibility to join in the fun.
At first, Franny’s dad doesn’t believe her stories about the crow who brings her gifts. Why is it then important for Franny to prove the crow is real?
It is important for Franny to demonstrate the crow is real because he is. She is standing up for herself and for the truth. Her dad doesn’t believe her because he has forgotten how unexpected and amazing the real world can be. He has been staring at his phone and at his computer screen, oblivious to the world of wonders all around him.
You include a list of amazing crow facts at the back of your book. What is your favourite thing about crows?
Crows are full of surprises. Although they are very wary of people (understandably so), they are also intensely interested in us. Admittedly, their interest is opportunistic, but it is nonetheless genuine. And they are so smart! I never get tired of watching the video of a New Caledonian crow using tools to solve a problem in eight steps. Now, that’s what I call a bird brain. Check out the video below!