THE SCARECROW’S DANCE by Jane Yolen

THE SCARECROW’S DANCE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

One autumn’s eve, the forlorn scarecrow watching over the cornfield is magically freed. Silently he leaps and dances through the fields, exultant. Up to a farmhouse window he twirls to witness a young boy praying. A blessing on the scarecrow for a bountiful harvest is what the child asks. The scarecrow weeps, knowing “ ‘For anyone can dance,’ / Thought he, / ‘But only I / Can keep fields free.’ ” Understanding his duty, the scarecrow returns to the fields to fulfill his calling. Yolen’s atmospheric tale alludes to Christ’s sacrifice, and Ibatoulline reinforces that theme with the final image: the scarecrow sacrosanct on his cross-like pole. The rhyming text creates an eerie atmosphere, mixing the sacred with the profane—blood-red barns, cawing crows and a moon “As yellow as / A black cat’s eye.” Beautifully painted environments sweep across the pages, standing in stark contrast to the scarecrow’s face, which has a much more graphic quality. A conversation-starter for parents interested in discussing the meaning of sacrifice or who wish to explore Christian faith with their children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-3770-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009




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