THE STRAWMAN WHO SMILED BY MISTAKE by Paul Tripp

THE STRAWMAN WHO SMILED BY MISTAKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Because Farmer Grumby has no one to help him, he sews a smile on the strawman's face by mistake; because he never smiles himself, he has no friends. And here he is stuck with a smiling scarecrow! At first he is too busy scaring away crows himself (""BANG BANG...CAW CAW"") to cut off the smile; later he is too busy tending the farm; in the fall he is too busy getting ready for the cold weather ahead; in the winter he is too busy fixing things inside. Meanwhile the strawman's smile has brought him many new friends: a little crippled bird lives in one pocket, a chipmunk in the other. When spring comes and Farmer Grumby attacks with his scissors, ""Strawman's four little friends"" won't let him. ""Tell me, Strawman,"" he asks, ""how do you make friends?"" ""AND THE STRAWMAN JUST SMILED."" The lesson is learned, and soon Farmer Grumby is smiling with the rest of them. This little bit of barnyard sentimentality takes a long time to spin out, and if the author weren't on television we'd say that's what it sounds like. And before we noted the illustrator's name and read that she's ""the daughter of an an illustrator of children's books,"" we were going to say that her precise, delicately shaded drawings recall Aldren Watson; they make the year's round real and the creatures appealing. Almost worth the book.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday