Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Lila and the Crow

Grimard, Gabrielle (Author/Illustrator)
Annick Press 2016. 32 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781554518586 (hardcover)
9781554518579 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Lila, the new girl in town, is excited to make friends. “With the wind in her hair and a smile on her face, she seems to be flying on her way to school.”

Vibrant paint and pencil illustrations convey Lila’s levity as she innocently embraces adventure, her midnight black hair strikingly paired with a cheery red dress. The day feels expansive and ripe with potential thanks to a wide-open sky and rolling hills. Both words and text foreshadow Lila’s avian nature as she glides along a beautiful birch-lined path: “Her heart as light as a feather, she imagines herself surrounded by new friends.”

Yet, Lila’s confidence is dashed when she’s targeted by mean-spirited teasing at school. During recess, a ringleader among her new classmates points and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is dark like a crow!!” Weighed down by shame, Lila’s heart is now “heavy as a stone” as she tries to hide her dark hair, skin and eyes beneath caps, sweaters and glasses.

The bullying only gets worse as Lila, in turn, rejects the companionship of a real crow who follows her like a shadow. The day she finally recognizes her own magnificence mirrored in the bird’s feathers, everything changes, putting an end to the outer and inner criticism. Readers will love this soulful and empowering story about embracing one’s true, unique nature.

  •  Discuss why people tease each other. What does the person who teases want? How does it make the teaser feel?
  •  

    The author wrote her story with no adults in it. Discuss why she might make that sort of crafting choice. How does it impact the way problems are solved?

  •  

    When the crow lands near Lila, she starts to see how beautiful it is. In your reader-writer’s notebook, describe what she could be thinking and feeling while looking at the bird. How does this help her to see herself differently and thus lead to a solution? What does this tell you about acceptance?

  •  

    Describe a crow. What negative connotations are associated with crows? Based on the cover page, do you think Lila and the crow will have a relationship? What kind?

  •  

    Read teacher-selected information about random acts of kindness. How do they counteract bullying? Would Lila have developed her strength the same way if she had not been bullied by the students at school?

  •  

    Nathan is the student who makes fun of Lila. Imagine you are one of the students who laugh at her. What role did you play? Write her a letter of apology.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Violet (T.D. Stehlik) (Topic)
    Spork (K. Maclear) (Topic)