A scarecrow is set up in a field, and the animals out in the day see it very differently from the animals out at night.
The daytime animals—a cat, a rabbit, and a squirrel—know about scarecrows, so they go over and give the “crow scarer” a sniff, then go about their day, playing together until it’s time for them to go to sleep. After dark, the nighttime animals—an owl, a fox, and a hedgehog—see the scarecrow but decide that he’s actually a man from the moon and that he must be hungry, having traveled all that way. They spend most of the night gathering food, leaving it at his feet and going off to bed. When the daytime animals come back, they think the “crow scarer” has left food for them, and so they decide to give him a thank-you gift in return. The story goes back and forth, each cycle producing surprises for all the animals—and the baffled farmer. This story has the perfect level of whimsy and outrageousness to appeal to a broad range of kids, and the illustrations are delightful: bright and colorful, with a nice level of cartoonishness that’s nevertheless easy to interpret for children who know their animals. There is no moral or lesson here: just a lovely, silly story poised to become a bedtime favorite, penned by a 9-year-old whose vision is at once perfectly childlike and surprisingly sophisticated.
Young author Harris has truly created a delight. (Picture book. 3-6)