Starshine and Sunglow

Starshine and Sunglow

4.3 16
by Betty Levin, Jos. A. Smith

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Ben, Kate, and Foster create two super scarecrows to protect Mrs. Flint's corn crop from the animals that feed on it, but soon the scarecrows seem to take on a life of their own.

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Ben, Kate, and Foster create two super scarecrows to protect Mrs. Flint's corn crop from the animals that feed on it, but soon the scarecrows seem to take on a life of their own.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-For as long as Ben, Kate, and Foster can remember, the Flints, on the farm down the road, have grown sweet corn for the whole neighborhood, including the various critters who raid the fields. When they decide that their efforts are just not worth the battles with the birds and raccoons, who seem to be taking more than their share, the children get organized. Levin's uncomplicated story line proceeds chronologically across one growing season and focuses on the attempts to save the crop. Although adults become involved, they, with the exception of mysterious Mr. Torpor, are of marginal importance. Accurate information about the challenges of farming are woven into the plot. The three young characters are developed well through dialogue and actions, with a minimum of background narration. Early in the story, two scarecrows, Starshine and Sunglow, fashioned from an old mop and useless broom, take on lives of their own, moving mysteriously to various locations in the field. As the task of saving the corn becomes more complicated, the children resort to increasingly complicated solutions. The battle with the raccoons is the funniest, involving a mesmerizing television set. All of this summer activity attracts the attention of Sunday drivers, draws the community closer together, and gives the youngsters a great sense of accomplishment. The story is low-key, moving along, for the most part, at a steady, largely undramatic pace.-Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI
Carolyn Phelan
With the birds and raccoons raiding their corn each year, Mr. and Mrs. Flint decide to give up growing the little crop they used to sell at the market and share with their neighbors. Led by three children, the neighbors on Flint Farm Road decide to fight off the critters and save the crop, if only the Flints will plant their favorite varieties: "Butter and Sugar. Peaches and Cream. Sunglow. Miracle. Starshine. Stardust. Golden Bantam. Honey and Pearl." The children help plant the seed, then dress two scarecrows with tattered clothes and rags. Week by week, the two figures take on a life of their own, dressed and redressed by the neighbors in outfits to accommodate their courtship, marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood. As the children work for the corn, they get to know their older neighbors--their ways, their quirks, their secrets, and their droll humor and good sense. Levin's fine balance of wit and lyricism give the writing a special quality. Quiet in its development, the book is nevertheless full of life, seen and unseen. Like the corn, it has roots as well as shoots.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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