Sure, the scarecrow is normally associated with Halloween, but you know what? The beginning of July is actually the perfect time to set one up in your garden to provide the necessary protection from unwanted visitors. And, therefore, July is also the perfect time to share some our favorite scarecrow-related children’s books with you.
Little Bear Makes a Scarecrow, by Else Holmelund Minarik
A kid’s bookshelf is far from complete without Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear series. Little Bear’s ups and downs mirror that of every child’s, tying up everyday advice within each novel. Here, Little Bear tries to help Mother BEar — a rare occurrence in real life, if you ask us — by building a scarecrow to keep crows away from the garden. Of course, he runs into a problem — we won’t tell what — and has to solve it on his own. Innovation! A good lesson to learn. While rather short, this book is a great choice for younger readers. [Rated for ages 4 and up.]
The Little Scarecrow Boy, by Margaret Wise Brown
Ever heard of Goodnight Moon or the Runaway Bunny? That was not a serious question. You’ve heard of Goodnight Moon or you’re not a real person. Anyway, The Little Scarecrow Boy is by the same author, so you know this selection is worth your while. It’s the story of a little scarecrow whose dream in life is to become just like his father, but his dad won’t let him go out into the field until he grows bigger. Does the little scarecrow listen? Not quite. He goes out into the field alone. Brown uses her novel to teach the lesson of listening and learning — a valuable one for kids of all ages. [Rated for ages 4 to 8 years.]
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams
Linda Williams tells the story of an old lady who walks home through the forest alone one evening. Throughout her journey, she encounters various objects, including shoes, pants, a shirt, gloves, a top hat, and pumpkin head. See where this might be going? They each attempt to scare her, but, as the title suggests, this little old lady is afraid of nothing. The objects fear — a natural emotion for objects, right? — they have lost their purpose, but the little old lady steers them in a new direction. It’s a fun, easy read. [Rated for ages 4 to 8 years.]
The Lonely Scarecrow, by Tm Preston
The tale of a lonely scarecrow. Not hard to believe, really: He just wants to make friends with the animals in the field, but, naturally, they’re frightened away by his appearance. That’s what he’s for in the first place, right? But, thankfully, a snowstorm comes, covering him so that the animals mistake him for a harmless snowman. The heart of the story lies in the melting of the snow: What will the animals do when they realize he’s the scarecrow they once feared? [Rated for ages 3 and up.]
So, yes, it’s summertime, but these stories are worth the read any time of the year. They’re entertaining, and they teach valuable lessons to your kids — what more can you ask for? Not much, actually.