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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  308 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
They perch high above gardens and fields, with borrowed coats and button eyes and pie pan hands that glint in the sun. What else is there to know about scarecrows? Perhaps more than we realize. Illustrations.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Turtleback Books (first published April 1st 1998)
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A beautiful, simple story about the beauty of leading a simple life. Scarecrow is a great example of "being in the now" and appreciating everything life gives to him, without ever being worried about what will come next or be taken away. There's some good wisdom for grown-ups here!!! (Tolle fans will probably like this.)
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very peaceful and soothing story.
Cathy aka The Attached Mama
Oh man, if I could give this book 6 stars out of 5 I would. Why in the world are people only giving this wonderful book 3 stars?? I think this was a lovely story.
The one thing I thought this book was missing was rhyme. I think the story would have had a better flow. The moral of the story was so well depicted and the illustrations were big enough I wanted to touch each page. It really makes me want to make a scarecrow to live in my garden because I know what how content and happy they are.
Children and adults will both find something to appreciate in Cynthia Rylant’s story about a humble scarecrow who is happy with his simple life. The scarecrow actually represents what it means to be a human being. He is happy to simply be who he is, and he finds meaning in his life by being kind to the animals and observing the beauty around him. Adults will appreciate the message that life is wonderful even though it is short. “The scarecrow doesn’t care what he is made of or how long he might ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend described Rylant's writing as flowing from a mountain brook. I agree. This simple picture book describes the place of a scarecrow in a garden, watching everything, being a friend, and showing gentleness. A must read for any student, parent, teacher, or lover of beautiful words!
Nice, simple book about scarecrows and what they do. I do find it strange that Rylant says the scarecrow has to be gentle and kind to birds since scaring away birds is their main purpose.

Good for preschool or toddler storytimes.
This was an interesting book. I didn’t love the illustrations because they were blurry sometimes but they did add to the story. This book, like “Life” both have a wonderful message of appreciation for what you have. Good imagery as well. Great for gratitude.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful poetic writing. Haunting and dreamy. I love how the illustrations capture the sadness and wistfulness of autumn moving into winter.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
What a beautiful kids book on the "life" of a scarecrow. The wording and the illustrations are just gorgeous!
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very Zen, fine, whatever. But making friends with the birds? Sorry, I'm a farmer's daughter and I cannot accept the premise.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a sweet, wonderful book! The life of a scarecrow as he lives through all kinds of weather thinking long, slow, thoughts. Happiness and pure joy to share with kids.
Cute story about scarecrows - from the scarecrow's perspective. :)
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Somehow, in the pages of this understated yet majestic picture book, Cynthia Rylant has captured just what it means to be a human being, to know that one's time on earth isn't forever, and the vivid experiences of friendship and love and immersing oneself in the good things about this world will eventually dissolve and come to an end in the here and now.
It is spellbinding how Cynthia Rylant makes these experiences come so vibrantly to life in so few pages. The
Stacy Boyd
In Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, the narrator talks about a scarecrow. She speaks on the assembly of the scarecrow and everything the scarecrow goes through. The scarecrow sees everything in garden, and all animals use him for their own reasons. In the end we get the sense that the scarecrow will always be around no matter what just waiting and watching over the garden. The theme being portrayed is the theme of natural beauty. We see that everything in the garden works in harmony around the scare ...more
James Terry
This book is about the very simple life of a scarecrow. He is made and it tells about how he knows he's not real and he knows he's made out of borrowed parts. He has long slow thoughts and is a gentle creature that is always in the field. He enjoys where he is and what he does and he loves seeing everything grow and the season change.
*I think the theme of this to enjoy the things that surround us. If the scarecrow can be so content with his simple life we can learn form that and try to adapt som
Jozie Milton
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jozie-s-shelf
So this story is told in third person about a scare crow. The narrator shows the life that this scarecrow goes though, what it does on a normal day, the seasons that the scarecrow goes through, and giving a personality to this scarecrow. While this scarecrow is suppose to be scary, he is also a friend to the owners and the crows may sit on his arms throughout the day. Basically showing that this object is some sort of protecter of the vegetation that the farmers have, also being a friend to ever ...more
Annie Carbutt
A scarecrow who was created from the random nothingness of scraps and trash sits in a field every day and stares at the sky. His life’s only purpose is to sit and be happy with his connection to the sky and the earth. This book is utterly disappointing. Though the illustrations are beautiful, the message stinks and the writing does too. There is no plot and no purpose except to say that being created from random nothingness should be good enough. This is a poorly constructed book that I would no ...more
Linda Lipko
This author weaves pure magic. Each and every book, whether illustrated, or YA, appears to be written from the heart. Composed of many things, a carrot, a hat, a shirt, a hat, each piece woven together to make a whole.

As we experience the seasons through his eyes, there is a calmness and serenity.
This guy has his act together. He accepts his bird and animal friends, he enjoys the seasons and he knows just who he is.

Ah, if we could all be like him...content.
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While cutting through the children's section of the library one day, this book caught my eye. I had to take it home and check out all the pictures! I love scarecrows and make one every year. This book had a little history and some tips for creating your own scarecrow, including some ideas for what you'll need but the best part is the scarecrow art. An enchanting book for children and adults alike.
Looking at one's world and seeing all its beauty is the philosophy of this dear scarecrow. If you need an uplifting message some day when you're feeling low, this is the book to keep near. For children's inspiration to find good things in their world, for younger or older people, it's a delight. You will also fall in love with Lauren Stringer's illustration, full of beautiful things and happiness.
Take a look at the world through the eyes of a scarecrow. See what he see and feels from his place in the gardens and fields. With little text, the illustrations do their part to tell the story very easily. Younger students will enjoy this tale especially in this perspective. It's a new take on looking at an object that so many of us see in our lifetime during harvesting or fall. This book will be a great one to have on hand in the classroom during that time of year.
Vanessa Peavy
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ece-3601
Such a beautiful story about living life simple. The scarecrow isn't by no means unhappy. He loves and knows just what he is. Reading this story to children will help them understand that they should be appreciative of life and the things they have. They scarecrow is peaceful and all the animals around him seem to take to his kindness. Inferring/Questioning of the words and pictures throughout the story would be a great lesson.


Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most recent examples of Rylant's mastery of the written word. The scarecrow endlessly personified clarifies any and all confusion about a fictional character done right. I really came to understand this scarecrow for what he aspires to be in these pages. I really truly enjoyed this book.
Jenna Arntz
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This book takes the reader and makes them be able to see the world through the eyes of a scarecrow. The story tells everything that a scarecrow sees, thinks and feels. I think that this would be a great read aloud, and also a great mentor text. This story could help children to become better writers and to describe things in a different way.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a new favorite picture book!
I was doing a book signing this past Saturday at Barrington Books. I arrived early, as usual, so I had a chance to check out the store. I found this book and had to get it for my grandson. He loved it. Asked me to read it again and again today. My only regret is that the only copy in the store was a paperback.
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday
This book is wonderful for season change, especially when it is getting cold! It has a great point of view from the scarecrow. Something that stuck out to me when I was little was that a scarecrow did not just scare birds but it scared me to. I like that they turn something that a child might be scared of into something sweet and relatable! Great story!
Scooping it Up
Nov 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrible
This was the most bizarre nonsense book. It made ZERO sense, even in metaphor. Almost immediately I had to start making up a story while reading it to my kids because I actually disagreed with the text's message and philosophy and thought it was written when the author was emotional, hopped up on pain meds, or something weird going on.

Lovely pictures, the text was a hot mess.
The Brothers
A story that examines the world through the eyes of a scarecrow. We delve deep into the scarecrow's "long, slow thoughts" about the seasons, and animals, an cycles of life.

Nice enough illustrations.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We love Cynthia Rylant. She is at the top of our favorite author list. This book is warm, happy and full of nice thoughts all about scarecrows. Scarecrows can sometimes be portrayed as scary but not in this book. We loved the illustrations and now look at scarecrows with even more love. ;-)
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she ...more
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