The Scarecrows' Wedding

illus. by Axel Scheffler. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545726061. LC 2014005340.
K-Gr 2—In this peculiar tale, two scarecrows decide to get married and have a big wedding. They gather everything on their list that they need for the celebration but realize that the pink flowers are missing. So off Harry O'Hay goes to find a field of flowers for his bride, Betty O'Barley. Meanwhile, the farmer notices that Harry is missing and brings home a new scarecrow, Reginal Rake, to take his place. The newcomer promptly begins to woo Betty and tries to impress her by making smoke rings with a cigar. This leads to an unfortunate incident in which she ends up on fire. Thankfully, Harry appears: "'Betty!' cried Harry. 'My own future wife!'/He poured on the water—and saved Betty's life." This story is told through simple rhyming couplets that are intended for young children, but the plot isn't satisfying. The author may have been trying to promote an anti-smoking message; unfortunately, it is lost in the disconcerting image of the scarecrow burning. The pictures are done in bright and vibrant colors outlined in black. Strictly additional.—Megan McGinnis, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
While off searching for the perfect pink flowers for Betty O'Barley, his bride-to-be, Harry O'Hay the scarecrow is replaced by dashing Reginald Rake. But Betty doesn't fall for Reginald's wild ways, and when fire threatens, Harry is the hero. Jovial, stiff-armed scarecrows and wide-eyed animals star in a charmingly odd tale of true love told in singsongy rhymes.

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