cover image The Scarecrows and Their Child

The Scarecrows and Their Child

Mary Stolz. HarperCollins Publishers, $11.95 (67pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026007-1

Two scarecrows named Handy and Blossom work for many years, from separate vantage points, on a New England farm. Then the farmer leaves and the farm is neglected. For a while the scarecrows staunchly stand guard, but eventually Handy decides that even the most dutiful Yankee scarecrow can't defend a deserted farm forever. He crosses the field to introduce himself to Blossom, asks her to marry him and they retire. The two are very happy and soon have a cat-child, Bohel (scarecrows never know what kind of offspring they will have). But the couple's idyllic life is shattered when they are abducted for use as Halloween decorations. Bohel, who has never spent a day of kittenhood without his parents, is terrified, but is also determined to find them. Award-winning author Stolz (The Explorer on Barkham Street, etc.), has written a convincing and moving story. The relationships between Handy, Blossom and Bohel are humorously depicted with just the right amount of scarecrow naivete and catlike cunning. Ages 8-11. (October)