Otis and the Scarecrow

illus. by Loren Long. 40p. Philomel. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399163968.
PreS-Gr 2—Otis is a friendly little tractor who lives on a farm. In the summer, the farmer adds a scarecrow to his cornfield. Always looking for a new friend, Otis tries unsuccessfully to engage the scarecrow, who just stares blankly out at the field with a permanent scowl on its face. The farm animals attempt to befriend the sour fellow with the same result. As the season begins to change, the crows no longer keep away from the scarecrow, who has otherwise remained alone. During an autumn, Otis and his friends surround the solitary scarecrow to ride out a storm, and though he never breaks his silence, they are convinced that he doesn't look so lonely anymore. Gouache and pencil illustrations capture the different seasons and characters' emotions. This quiet addition to the series uses the appealing familiar characters to address the notions of small kindnesses and compassion.—Laura Hunter, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
It takes time, a rainstorm, and a silly round of "the quiet game" for Otis the tractor to cozy up to the scarecrow, the farm's grumpiest new member. The story is leisurely paced--a fact that will encourage readers to linger over Long's charming gouache and pencil illustrations of cheerful farm animals, a wide-eyed Otis, and rolling landscapes in muted colors.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing