cover image Scarecrow Magic

Scarecrow Magic

Ed Masessa, illus. by Matt Myers. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-69109-3

Masessa (The Time Travelers’ Journal) and Myers (Battle Bunny) conjure up a truly eerie vision of what a scarecrow gets up to during his off-duty hours, cavorting with beasts and creepy crawlies of every stripe under the unholy light of a yellow-green moon. As if the idea of the scarecrow undoing “the ropes that are binding him tight” isn’t unnerving enough, a page turn has the scarecrow stripping off his skin to reveal a grinning skeleton underneath—albeit one who keeps his boxer shorts on when he dives into a nearby pond. Myers deploys a supporting cast of pine trees come alive, bird-haystack hybrids, and other oddities that are perfectly synced to Masessa’s incantatory rhymes (“Shadows take on a life of their own./ They growl and they grumble. They ramble and roam”). Halloween-worthy chills for any time of year. Ages 3–5. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)