Book Review : “The Scarecrow” | Review by Sandy Ferguson Fuller

Last Updated: July 26, 2022By

bestselling author teams up with award-winning illustrators, Terry and Eric Fan, to orchestrate The Scarecrow, a picture book already tapped as a classic for all ages. The Fan Brothers’ full-color illustrations showcase a soft and realistic palette. They feature a simple scarecrow and his friends and capture the nuances of nature. This signature book, rich in allegory, belongs in adult collections, too.

The story begins as summer flows into autumn, and Scarecrow — new to his post — boldly protects the upcoming wheat harvest. No creature dares to enter his field. He scares away anything that creeps, crawls, scampers or soars. By wintertime, he finds himself completely alone with no company, no purpose, no place to go, dreaming only of the promise of the changing seasons.

“The Scarecrow” by Beth Ferry. Illustrated by The Fan Brothers.

Spring comes. When a tiny, scared crow drops at his feet, Scarecrow adopts the fledgling bird and gives it a safe place to live in his front pocket, close to his heart of hay, through the summer and fall. From a distance on his pole, he still watches over the fields, but his true attention turns gently to his new friend. Scarecrow knows that he must stay, and crow must fly away when the cold arrives. Indeed, his spirits sink once more when crow leaves and nothing is left to warm the winter. Broken pole. Broken heart. Scarecrow starts to fall apart.

Spring comes again. When a large black bird drops into the field, Scarecrow invites him in with open arms. Crow has come back! Next, a mate arrives, and the two birds help put Scarecrow back together, stuffing him full of fresh straw and straightening him on his pole. In return, Scarecrow guards a nest holding five small eggs that the crows build in his front pocket. Instead of scaring away the neighborhood creatures, he lets them share in the new family that he is helping to raise and keep safe in his own pockets. For seasons to come, Scarecrow will not be lonely again.

New life. New hope. New purpose. New joy. Restoration and revival.

Renewal. The promise of the changing seasons.

Originally published in Summer + Fall 2022 Issue.

Sandy is a publishing industry professional with over 50 years spent as author, illustrator, international literary agent and freelance editor. Her primary focus is children’s picture books, originally mentored by Maurice Sendak as a student at Yale. Once introduced, the picture book genre captivated her imagination with its unique blend of story and illustration. She hopes that her own books, as well as those she has helped others to publish, will touch many souls, young and old. She is a regular contributor to CO YOGA + Life.

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