by Bernadette Watts

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The farm children adore their scarecrow and name him Tattercoats, for his shabby clothing shows the wear of a season of guarding the cornfield. But after the harvest, when the children move indoors to play for the winter, Tattercoats is chilly with loneliness. The robin who flies by the house to report on Christmas activities taunts Tattercoats, and the hare makes fun of him for his single wobbly leg. When spring finally arrives, the children rediscover him and he is given a new suit of clothes and a promotion--to the kitchen garden where he can feel that he is a part of the action. The warmth of Watts's beautifully done illustrations is matched by a story rich with family love and caring. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Named for his ragged appearance, Tattercoats loves the farm children whose field he guards. As winter begins, the scarecrow becomes lonely for the youngsters. In spring, hearing of a new baby in the family, he sinks down in the flowery field, quite certain that he won't be visited again. Happily, he is found, decked out in new clothes, and assigned to the garden. The children never fail to call ``goodnight'' to him each night. The seasons are captured in pastel illustrations on full- or double-page spreads. Autumn is golden with Monet-like accents of bright flowers. Wind, snow, or rain blow through each picture. Dreary weather, pictured in grays and browns, culminates in a frozen field and an utterly downcast Tattercoats. The scale of the vast fields, beginning with the endpapers, dwarfs the scarecrow, visually expressing his isolation. Jarring in this mood of loneliness is his anger at the animals who tell him news of the family. The creatures are good-natured, but he is angered by their ignorant invitations to run or fly over to the house. The text has a few lovely moments, with Tattercoats' happiness ``like sunshine sweeping up a hill,'' but the expression of mood through vast space and weather is the book's strength. --Jane Saliers, Atlanta Public Library

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Product Details

North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Bernadette Watts has loved to draw since her childhood in England. She created her first picture book under the influence of Beatrix Potter. Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent and is the illustrator of North South fairy tales The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.

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