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The Scarecrow's Dance Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
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.
What I did not read in the reviews of this book before I bought it (perhaps I didn't read back far enough!) was that the theme of book is based on religion. Not a problem for many folks, but I was surprised at the religious angle introduced at the end. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Because of this I gave it three stars. While the book is nicely done and I will be giving it to my young nephew, I feel that other parents with other views may be unpleasantly surprised when they reach the end of the book.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of our family's favorite books, the story and the artwork are beautiful!Published 3 months ago by RaysOfFaith
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 18 months ago by Celeste Nava
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
I hate to be critical for no reason, but this book just wasn't a favorite at our house. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't click with my two-year old.Published on March 7, 2011 by Peter B. Nelson