A friendly, protective scarecrow helps barnyard creatures stay out of trouble in Brown’s picture-book debut.
On a magical farm, a happy scarecrow named Zoom-Boom runs so fast to save creatures in trouble that he breaks the sound barrier. Luckily, the animals are said to “always listen” to Zoom-Boom’s safety advice, which keeps them from getting hurt. His friends include Graham Quakers, a duck; Dirty Bird, a rooster; Choe-Choe, a kitten; and a group of crows inclined toward carelessness, lying, messiness, or losing things. The book urges readers to be kind, but also “to be silly and have some fun,” while also seeing the best in others. Brown lightens his morally instructive work by emphasizing how Zoom-Boom learns from and appreciates his friends, despite their faults; Rags the Goat, for example, is shown to know about recycling. The text seems somewhat contradictory; Zoom-Boom is seemingly always running to the rescue of someone, but the text says that he “doesn’t have to rescue his farm friends too often.” Myers’ (Chase’s Graduation Day, 2019, etc.) energetic illustrations depict Zoom-Boom as a lanky fellow with a straw hat, jeans, work boots, and bow tie; the animals have a range of expressions, including sly, coy, and friendly.
A cheerfully encouraging work that focuses on safety as a reason to behave.