Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Scarecrow's Dance - Jane Yolen

Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Simon & Schuster, 2009
32 pgs.
for: young kids
rating: 4/2
Endpapers: Dark orange
Illustrations: Edge of page, no white, gouache and watercolor, lovely

"An autumn eye,
The moon was high,
As yellow as
A black cat's eye.

Out in the field,
Stiff and forlorn,
The scarecrow stood
And watched the corn."

Rhyme and rhythm always enchant me. The wind catches the scarecrow in a huge field, setting him free from his post to whirl and dance in the wind. When he comes to the farmer's house, he peeks into an upstairs bedroom window where a boy is kneeling in prayer - aking for a blessing on the scarecrow that guards his family's cornfields. Realizing his duty, the scarecrow dances back to his pole and reattaches himself.

'"For anyone can dance,"
Thought he,
"But only I
Can keep the fields free."'

The kneeling, clasped hands of the "praying" pages inserted near the end of the dancing, rhythmic story were a bit disconcerting. I think that it would be more universally appealing with a little different direction here. Oh well, can't win 'em all.....

Here's a blog review from Book Aunt.

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