Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Robin Bloksberg
Illustrator: Dan Clifford
Publisher: Modern Curriculum Press
Mark has a pesky predicament: after planting a beautiful garden, he finds that local pests keep coming to nibble on his vegetables! Thinking a scarecrow might be a good solution, Mark crafts one from materials he finds at home. He submits his handiwork to the criticism of his friends who are not as appreciative of Mark’s hard work as he feels appropriate. The friends change the scarecrow to make it scarier. Will it be scary enough to frighten the crows away? Perhaps the scarecrow is not so scary after all.
This small, square book features framed illustrations in a somewhat muted color palette. The images show diverse children in static poses with pleasant expressions. The light pencil strokes capitalize on the different textures of the outdoor environment with fluffy bunnies, shiny watering cans, and so forth. Overall, this book is a pleasant and quick read for children around seven or eight years old. The story is happy and simple but leaves much to the reader’s imagination with very plain faces and straightforward vocabulary. A parent engaging from a read-aloud would benefit from adding detail and expression from their own commentary since little in this sense is provided by the text.