Mo and Crow
Jo Kasch and Jonathan Bentley
Allen & Unwin
‘No man is an island’ wrote poet John Donne more than 400 years ago but Mo wants it so to be.
Mo is a loner and that’s the way he likes it. He’s built a sturdy house surrounded by a protective wall to deter intruders be that elemental, animal or human kind. Privacy is vital so he thinks.
Then from behind the wall he hears tap tap tap over and over. Mo’s various ways to block out the infuriating sound invading his silence prove futile and it’s not long before the continual tapping causes the displacement of a stone and there is a beak belonging to Crow.
Mo pushes back the stone but the next day Crow pushes out another one and another …
Furious, Mo tries begging, yelling and shouting but to no avail. The invader doesn’t go. The size of the hole increases and eventually Mo seizes the biggest stone he can find and hurls it at Crow. The creature remains. The two sit watching one another; Mo within his house Crow from his perch on the broken wall.
This goes on all day and eventually Mo goes to bed and sleeps. Next morning no Crow. Mo prepares,,,, materials to repair his wall and then as he looks up there’s space, clouds in the sky and hills: a whole world has been opened up.
But where is Crow?
Debut picture book author Jo Kasch and illustrator Jonathan Bentley present two contrasting characters – one a seeker of company, one who eschews it, in this tale of diversity, acceptance, the breaking down of barriers and the importance of friendship. With the economic text occasionally breaking into rhyme and lots of repetition providing joining in possibilities, and Jonathan Bentley’s boldly coloured scenes of the unfolding drama to feast their eyes on, youngsters will certainly have their attention held throughout this thought-provoking allegory.