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The Scarecrow and His Servant
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The Scarecrow and His Servant

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,986 ratings  ·  262 reviews
One night there was a thunderstorm. A tattered scarecrow stood in the wind and rain, taking no notice . . . until a bolt of lightning struck his turnip head. The scarecrow blinked with surprise and came to life.

So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant, and they set out
Paperback, 230 pages
Published November 3rd 2005 by Corgi Yearling (first published November 4th 2004)
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Choco Panda This book is for all ages. It isn't gruesome or scary in any way. It is really cute and funny, following the adventures of the scarecrow and his…moreThis book is for all ages. It isn't gruesome or scary in any way. It is really cute and funny, following the adventures of the scarecrow and his servant as they try to get to spring valley.

My little brother loved this story and he also enjoyed: The Explorer's Society (Adrian Kress), Alex and the Ironic Gentleman (Adrian Kress), Gecko and Sticky (Wendelin Van Draanen), The Invention Of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick) (He got a chance to watch the movie afterward and liked it as well), and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Robert C. O’Brien).

I suppose I should mention that he read a few of them, and some he just listened to the audiobook. The Invention of Hugo Cabret was a tad too difficult for him to read, but he did listen to it hile looking at the sketches in the book. Same with Alex and the Ironic Gentleman. My little brother is going to turn 8 soon.

I hope that helps! (less)

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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  1,986 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidstuff, scarecrows
Ah, the humble scarecrow...

Iconic denizen of the farmer's field. A straw man, possessor of tattered clothing, infinite patience, and a deep knowledge of the psychology and behavioral habits of our feathered friends.

Imagine if suddenly, that scarecrow were to come to life. That's exactly what happens in this story. This is one fellow who already has a brain in his knobby turnip head, and he soon acquires a servant in the form of a young boy named Jack.

Together they set out to have adventures,
This is a delightful little story, for children and adults alike. A scarecrow is struck by lightning, and comes to life; he recruits a young lad named Jack as his personal servant, and having nothing better to do the two embark on a grand adventure, complete with an army episode, entrangement on a solitary isle, and even a love affair. All complete with fun illustrations, bringing the story to life and pointing out its dramatic and hilarious moments just on time. Obviously inspired by Cervantes, ...more
Reading Reader
Jan 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
All I had previously read from Pullman was the His Dark Materials books. I picked this up purely on the strength of Pullman's name.

I asked myself lots of questions while reading this book. Questions like: Is this book supposed to be an allegory? Is it supposed to be coherent? Was that an attempt at humor? Where is this story going? Will it ever end? Why am I still reading this?

Take a pass on this one. There are so many other better books out there with similar feel and similar target audience.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I felt a little disappointed at the beginning of this story. After that, I realized that I just needed to work my way through it and see where it was going to take me. After that, I found myself enjoying the occasional play on words and tongue in cheek phrases that the author introduced. I even found myself looking up a word that I don't think I have ever come across before. The word was scarper. I thought it was a typo but it was not. By the end of the story, all of the seemingly scattered ...more
Nov 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This really is a wonderful fairy tale. It has all the good qualities of a classic fairy tale -- imaginative, journeys, adventures, colorful characters, and bad-guys who are obviously bad.

The young boy, Jack, has sense enough to know that everything is quite odd -- what with his master being a turnip-headed scarecrow -- but has the youthful imagination to go along with it.

If there is a down-side to this book, it's that it did get to be a little long. Perhaps one too many adventures for the
Michael Fitzgerald
OK, but kind of pointless. There were all sorts of Candide-like adventures where the pair stumble through, but the book lacked anything like Voltaire's underlying philosophical basis. Of course, I doubt that was the intention, but all the same, it felt empty.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
i decided to read this book as i had ran out of good books and it was just sitting their on my one of my book selves. What also made me want to read it was the fact it was my Philip Pullman and i had enjoyed reading his other books.

The category that this book is in is a book that teaches you about a different time in history. It fits under this one as it is set back in the days of scarecrows, servants, castles and brigands. I love this book as it is a humored and witty read that I really
Aicha Jwz
This book was weird. It wasn't bad or anything. I just couldn't find any moral in the story.

I found this book in a thrift shop. (4 books for 1 pound! Who would pass that out?) anyway, it was just, well--GAH! It's hard to understand!

It was a quick read, but considering I was also reading Hannibal Rising at the same time. It took me longer then it a average 3 grader to finish....

This isn't a book that changed a view in my life. It's about a scarecrow that came to life by lighting. (This makes me
Phoebe Ledster
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks2, novel
I first read this book when I was in Year 6! I found it in our school library and was so excited to read it. It remains to be one of my favourite novels- the intriguing characters and exciting storyline supply an amazing read! Definitely give this a go- it’s a fun adventure ready to be delved into.
Malachi Cyr
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this at a Little Free Library by my house. It was really pretty awesome, humorous, and light. I liked it a lot. Definitely a keeper.
Helen Mears
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a delightful little book. Lord Scarecrow and his servant, Jack, go on a journey and encounter a range of strange characters and scenarios like a latter day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Charming.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a very interesting book and crazy book it was. I would really like it to have a it more sense of humour because you got a bit boring and it needs to have warrant a better background for it and it definitely is to be more interesting

It was hilarious- recommend this book to age seven and updated
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is quite interesting and fun,my favourite character is the Scarecrow as he is very adventurous.My favourite part was when a bird took the scarecrows brain (which was a pea)!
Allison Tebo
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, v
Beautifully and humorously written; this was such a romp! The Scarecrow’s antics are absolutely priceless. The author perfectly captured the “foreignness” of his thought process and the misunderstandings that were constantly popping up like flower bulbs throughout the story line. His servant, Jack, is far from the dull and witless sidekick that could have encumbered this story. Not a bit of it. Jack is a sly, charming survivor with a good heart who thinks on his feet, but he is still a young boy ...more
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think that "The Scarecrow and his Servant" is a very good book even though it has no real meaning.

Jack is the servant's name and he helps the scarecrow out from a puddle of mud and the scarecrow has one leg missing so the scarecrow asked Jack to go and find another leg for him. Jack finds a leg for the scarecrow and brings it to him so Jack becomes his servant and they start going on adventures together.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't know why I picked up this book to listen to on my trip but I did. This is a take on Don Quixote with the Scarecrow being the one fight for right and his sidekick a young boy who helps him get what he needs to succeed. It's a sweet story--with a happier ending than Don Quixote.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it
A read a-loud with my older boys, enjoyable and silly, and offered many opportunities to discuss English vocabulary with them.
Lid h
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed reading this book because it is interesting and I like the character of the scarecrow.
Ethan Billington
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny book my fav carechter is the scarecrow he’s so funny I recommend it to other young people
Erin Britton
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Old Mr Pandolfo, who wasn’t feeling at all well, decided that it was time to make a scarecrow. Everything was proving troublesome – birds, soldiers, relatives and rheumatism – and he felt that a scarecrow would be the answer to at least some of his problems. As it turned out, he got far more than he bargained for, as lightning soon struck the newly built scarecrow’s turnip head and brought it to life.

Once animate, and after a good spell of blinking, the scarecrow realised that there was more to
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Is it better to be feared or be loved?

What's the best way to scare a Brigand?

Are the Buffaloni's honest, upstanding citizens who could be trusted with your nan's pension book?

All of these questions and more are answered in the pages of The Scarecrow & his Servant.

The scarecrow is made by old Mr Alfonso who's had just about enough of things. It's such a good scarecrow that it gets stolen from its field, and then stolen again, and then stolen again. Until he ends up far away from his Spring
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed

Cross-posted from Nightjar's Jar of Books.

One night a scarecrow is struck by lightning and comes to life, and a great adventure ensues, as - along with his newly-hired (and very hungry) servant Jack - the Scarecrow hits the road in search of fame and fortune and, eventually, home... all while being pursued by bandits, birds, and all manner of other fearsome foes!

The short version of this review would be "a jolly romp, but a bit silly for my taste", but since that doesn't tell you much, I'll go

Dane Cobain
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth of four Philip Pullman fairy tales that I read through in this beautiful hardback bind-up edition of Four Tales. It’s also probably the best one, although that could also be because it was the longest. I’d probably say it tied with The Firework Maker’s Daughter as my favourite, and my thoughts on that could well be skewed by nostalgia.

On the other hand, I’d read a bunch of fairy tales in a row by this point, and it isn’t necessarily my favourite genre. I was flagging a little
Ramona Cantaragiu
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the beginning of this book:

'Young man', he said, 'I have a proposition to make. Here you are, an honest and willing youth, and here I am, a Scarecrow of enterprise and talent. What would you say if I offered you the position of my personal servant?'
'What would my duties be?' said Jack.
'To accompany me throughout the world, to fetch and carry, to wash, cook, and attend to my needs, In return, I have nothing to offer but excitement and glory. We might sometimes go hungry, but we shall
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I was refining my bookshelves, and this one has been on there since I was little. I’d never read it in full, but the art is beautiful and my mom always used to buy me beautiful hardback stories for Christmases and birthdays, so I’ve held onto it. I decided to actually read it to see whether I wanted to keep it or not.

I liked it, and I think I probably would have liked it if I’d finished it when I was younger too. It’s a good old-fashioned story of adventure and friendship, and I really liked
Ellie Labbett
After a bolt of lightening hits a scarecrow, he comes to life and enlists the services of a boy called Jack, who becomes his servant. The Scarecrow is like no other character, hot headed and passionate, he is fully immersed in the small wonders of the world and totally oblivious to social norms. Jack acts as a guide for The Scarecrow throughout their adventures- but this is in no way one sided, he finds himself in need of The Scarecrow at times as well!
It is the partnership between these two
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun, whimsical fairy tale that made me chuckle out loud many times. I really enjoyed the friendship between the Scarecrow and Jack, and the light political commentary, i.e., (view spoiler) I also thought the Scarecrow's personality was a perfect balance of haughty, proud, and clueless, but also charming and caring. The Scarecrow could have easily been frustrating but was instead very endearing.

I also particularly
Erica Olivera
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On top of being a really adorable story, this book is filled with humorous moments and commentary on politics and society. The best way to describe this story is that it is akin to Don Quixote. You have the protagonist who is charismatic, confident, but naive and disillusioned; and his hapless but quick-witted sidekick who must constantly keep him out of trouble. The relationship between the characters also develops throughout the story and presents the Scarecrow and the servant, whose name is ...more
Ashrith Rao
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was so good, I am so glad that I stumbled upon this book. Many people could interpret the tone of this book in many ways, but I would like to share how i interpreted tone in this book. I believe tone is the way words are said and conveyed towards the reader. In this book I feel the character was trying to show with words that the scarecrow was not the smartest person. And also still try to show that this is not usual for a scarecrow to talk. I absolutely loved this book and I am so, so ...more
Ellie-may carberry
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more
“Now, I want to get going, but I’ve only got one leg. Could you find one?” 0 likes
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