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The Scarecrow's Dance Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
"He jogged a row
And trotted back
Along the cornfield's
While high above
His painted Head,
The crazed and cawing
Black crows fled."
The scarecrow danced and swayed through the farm past the tractor, past the Holsteins, the barn and the two sleeping pigs. He skittered by the old horse drawn hay mower sidled against the barn and came into view of the farm house. He peered into the window and saw a little boy on his knees praying. "Please . . . " The scarecrow listened carefully and suddenly a single tear began to fall down his cheek. What did the little boy pray for that could make an old weathered scarecrow weep?
I was utterly impressed with the quality of this book. I loved the autumn theme and the message that everything and everyone has a special purpose in life, including the lowly scarecrow. The art work uses a darkened pallette, keeping with the fall equinox when the days become shorter and everything appears to be much darker in the countryside. The rural parent and child may be able to appreciate the country theme more as the scenery is familiar. I just loved this story of the lowly scarecrow, the heart and soul of the farm!
|Length: 3:00 Mins|
He danced past tractor
In the field.
Sill waiting to
Bring in the yield.
Past cows who lay down
In the grass
And watced him
As he, silent, passed.
He danced by barn
As red as blood
And two pigs sleeping
In the mud.
The "red as blood" description bothered my sons (ages 6 and 5). They asked me if that meant someone was hurt.
While the poem suffers from jagged rhymes and tone, the illustrations are outstanding. Bagram Ibatoulline captures twilight's soft colors, the breezy look of an evening wind rushing through the corn fields and a soft, cheerful scarecrow.
In summary, The Scarecrow's Dance deserves three stars, crediting its unique storyline while the illustrations deserve no less than five stars. Together, the picture book earns four stars for a net score of four stars.
A scarecrow, freed from his post by the wind and enjoying his new freedom, overhears a boy praying that, among other things-
"And bless tonight
Our old scarecrow
Who guards the fields
And each corn row
So that tomorrow,
When we reap,
There will be lots
Of corn to keep."
Realizing that he has an important job that he alone can do, he returns to the field and his pole.
There's plenty to teach in this book. Most important is a sense of duty and responsibility, both underemphasized in our "gimme it and gimme it now" culture. Furthermore, there are enough words unfamiliar to a young child (among them forlorn, tolled, jogged, cawing- the list goes on) that there's an opportunity to expand that child's understanding and vocabulary while reading this beautiful story.
If there were more than 5 stars to rate this book I'd rate it higher. It's a winner!
This is a very well-written and beautifully illustrated book. Jane Yolen's verse is, as always, lilting and flawlessly executed, and Ibatoulline's drawings are exquisite. But this is one of those picture books that is really much more for adults than for children. Tender grown-ups will tear up at the scarecrow's sacrifice as he chooses duty over personal freedom, but I have to imagine that most kids would miss the point of the story entirely. So, while I'd definitely recommend it, quite honestly I'm not sure for whom.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a beautiful book this is! Jane Yolen tells a beautiful story of a scarecrow who wants to be free, until he discovers how important he is as a scarecrow. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. T. Dixon
I love Jane Yolen's writing. But this is by far my favorite book- full of beautiful language! It touches your heart and your mind.Published 12 months ago by Celeste Nava
This very short story, beautifully illustrated tale about a scarecrow who accidentally wins his freedom from guarding corn but ultimately returns to his post (no pun intended). Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
great story and plan to use it for sunday school as well!
I love this for fall and the picturea are so beautiful.
Got this for my grandson and he really enjoys it! So it was a good buy and we're all happy with it.Published on January 8, 2013 by Anatolian
We got this book from the library and now I want to own it. I'm pretty sure it made me cry the first time I read it to my kids. Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by Sara K in Arizona
Beautifully written and illustrated. It is more beautiful with every read. Although the book starts off a bit slow it has a very powerful turnaround that propels the reader to... Read morePublished on October 29, 2011 by T G