Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Scarecrow's Dance

The Scarecrow's Dance

Jane Yolen
Illustrator:   Bagram Ibatoulline 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2009   ISBN: 978-1416937708

One autumn evening, when the moon is high in the sky, the wind tugs at the clothes of a scarecrow who stands in the middle of a field of corn. Then, without warning, the scarecrow’s feet start to “prance,” and his knees “bend and dance.” With a big leap the scarecrow leaves his pole behind and he begins to jog and trot down the dirt road that winds its way through the field.

He dances his way past the cows and the sleeping pigs and into the farm yard in front of the house. There he sees lights burning in some windows, and when he peeks into one, he sees a little boy kneeling by his bed and praying. The scarecrow hears the little boy’s words and suddenly he understands that there is something very important that he must do.

In this remarkable book, Jane Yolen’s beautiful rhyming verse is paired with Bagram Ibatoulline’s stunning paintings to give readers a singular picture book experience. Children will enjoy following the scarecrow as he experiences a taste of freedom, and they will appreciate why the little boy’s prayers affect the scarecrow in such a powerful way.