Sunday 17 January 2021

The First Book I Remember Reading, Blacky the Crow

Sometime last year there was a post on Social Media asking who remembered the first book they ever read. The answer came to me instantly. Blacky the Crow by Thornton W. Burgess.(January 17, 1874 – June 5, 1965). I remembered how much I enjoyed it. That I read it many times. If fact, I credit it for igniting my joy of reading.

I replied to the post and started thinking more about the book. I was planning to write a short blog about it and was looking for a photo, not of a recent copy, but of the copy from the edition which I read, which was printed in 1922. Not only did I find it, but discovered it was for sale from Thrift Books, an online used book company. It wasn't expensive, around $20 CAD all in, so I bought it.

It arrived this week, so of course, I took a trip back in time and read it.

Children will love this wonderful tale of Blacky the Crow, who has very sharp eyes, and who is often getting into trouble because he sees things he shouldn't. One day Blacky notices two fresh eggs in a nest belonging to Hooty the Owl and Mrs. Hooty. The eggs are a prize too delicious to pass up and Blacky devises a plan to snatch them. But does he succeed? Young readers will enjoy finding out in this charming tale by master storyteller Thornton W. Burgess. Reset in large, easy-to-read type, this book is filled with gentle humor and important lessons about nature and wildlife, and is further enhanced by four original Harrison Cady illustrations. Blacky the Crow is sure to captivate youngsters discovering the joy of reading and the pleasures of storytelling at its finest.

It is an enjoyable story. Yes, I am 60 years plus after reading it for the first time, but still it's a simple well written story of a few of the adventures of Blacky the Crow and his friends of the Green Forest. Even though it was originally released in 1922, it is a wonderful tale for today's children to read or have read to them. The author stresses many of the morals which we hold dear today, but are inserted into the story in such a way, it's just part of the tale.

I'm glad I bought it and plan to give it to my grandson to read as, hopefully, his first book.

Thornton Waldo Burgess (born January 14, 1874 - died June 5, 1965), naturalist and conservationist, loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books and 15,000 stories for daily columns in newspapers.

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