Monday, May 4, 2009

Review: The Scarecrow and His Servant

A tattered scarecrow stands in the middle of a muddy field, taking no notice of the violent thunderstorm around him. But when a bolt of lightning strikes him, fizzing its way through his turnip head and down his broomstick, the Scarecrow blinks with surprise–and comes to life.
Thus begins one of the most fun reads I've done in years. Although advertised as juvenile fiction, this is a humorous and sophisticated story with appeal to all ages. If the adult in you won't let you read a child's book for yourself, find a youngun' and start reading aloud. The wee one will not let you put it down. The scarecrow appoints a young starving homeless boy to be his 'servant' and they run away from the evil Buffaloni family who have taken over the field where the scarecrow lived. Along the way they have a series of wonderful adventures: performing in a street theater, serving in the army, being lost at sea and shipwrecked on an island, all the while being pursued by the evil Buffalonis. Near the end, a courtroom scene with a raven acting as defense counsel for the scarecrow, had me howling in laughter. This is a heart-warming, feel good, happily ever after the will be re-read for generations. Put this on the summer list and share it with someone you love.


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