The Scarecrow's Hat

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this gentle picture book with an old-fashioned feel, an enterprising chicken pulls off a hat trick of sorts when she finds a way to obtain a chapeau she admires. Chicken would love to have Scarecrow's straw hat for her very own. Scarecrow says he would gladly swap his headdress for a walking stick, something that Chicken does not possess. So Chicken sets out to visit Badger, who does have a walking stick. Trouble is Badger wants to make a trade, too, for something else Chicken can't provideDa ribbon. Chicken calls on an array of animal pals until she at last makes the deal that leads her back to Scarecrow's hat, via a chain reaction of satisfying swaps. British author/illustrator Brown's (Dilly-Dally and the Nine Secrets) story proceeds at a leisurely pace, allowing young readers time to join in Chicken's creative problem-solving. A couple of missteps in logic (a sheep is happy to have a pair of broken glasses; Scarecrow is the only inanimate object to speak) don't mar the easygoing mood. The true standout here, however, is Brown's artworkDhis airy, sun-dappled watercolors evoke a pleasant summer day. Ages 2-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
When chicken compliments Scarecrow on his straw hat, Scarecrow comments that he'd rather have a walking stick to lean on. Chicken doesn't have a walking stick, but she knows someone who does. Badger, who has a walking stick, would gladly trade it for a ribbon. Chicken doesn't have a ribbon, but she knows someone who does. Chicken talks with a series of animals until she finds one looking for feathers. She then makes the appropriate trades and gives the walking stick to a relieved Scarecrow. As for his hat, Chicken has special plans for that. This original story with its folktale pattern and jaunty refrain will keep its audience engaged. Chicken's persistence in solving the problem provides readers with food for thought. The text has a perfect accompaniment with Brown's soft palette and friendly-faced animals. This is an excellent choice for reading aloud to a group. The animals are large and distinct, making them easy to see from a distance. 2001, Peachtree Publishers, $15.95. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Chicken admires Scarecrow's straw hat, and her eyes light up when he says he would gladly exchange it for a walking stick to rest his arms. She doesn't have a walking stick, but she knows someone who does. Badger will trade his stick for a ribbon to tie his door open. Crow is willing to give up his ribbon for some wool to make a soft nest and so on, until Chicken comes full circle around the farm visiting all the animals and is able to get Scarecrow's straw hat for a nest. Children will enjoy the repetition and refrain. Vibrant watercolors simultaneously depict the natural beauty of a blooming meadow in spring and the fine execution of expressions on the animals' faces and in their body language. Pair this satisfying, funny offering with Pat Hutchins's Rosie's Walk (Macmillan, 1968) for a winning program.-Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary, Huntsville, AL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant watercolorist, Brown sets this familiarly patterned tale in sunny, poppy-strewn rural locales, and populates it with animals that are at once wonderfully lifelike and comically expressive. Chicken has her eye on Scarecrow's straw hat, which Scarecrow is willing to trade for a walking stick. Badger has a stick, and is willing to trade that for a ribbon. Crow has a ribbon . . . and so on, until Chicken reaches Donkey, whose yen for a feather flyswatter finally triggers the string of trades. Chicken ends up with the hat-perfect, as it turns out, for a cozy nest-" 'And I wouldn't swap it for anything!' " Full-bleed, double-paged spreads tell most of the story, with a set of vignettes in the middle to move the action back along the track. Fans of Brown's hysterical The Wolf Is Coming! (1998), written by Elizabeth MacDonald, will find this a bit more restrained, but with a similarly broad streak of silliness. Great for storytelling, with big beautiful pictures for a topper. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561455706
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 228,577
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Chicken spies a hat on the scarecrow and goes to great extents

    A Chicken spies a hat on the scarecrow and goes to great extents to procure that hat for herself.  She is able to help out many of her friends to get items they not only want and but need.  This is genius of chicken she has brought bartering to the farm and fields.  She starts with Scarecrow needing a walking stick to rest his tired arms upon and ends up with the hat she knew she would be able to put to good use.

    The author has written a fun story that children will enjoy with it's repetitive sing-song tale.  It teaches the child to be resourceful and use their noggins instead of going out and spending money for what they might want or need.  The characters are actually helping planet Earth by recycling items and putting them to good use. The illustrations were very cute, I especially liked Scarecrow and Owl with his spectacles.

    I highly recommend this book to homeschoolers, teachers, librarians, educators, parents and of course  children. 

    Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Review: I love the illustrations in this book, especially the o

    Review: I love the illustrations in this book, especially the owl! The details on these pages are beautiful. You have to look at them a couple of times to see everything they encompass such as the spider web and the owl's hat.

    Likewise, each time an item is mentioned, you look for it and aren't disappointed. The eye-catching watercolors are beautifully done. (rev. M.Free, ACS Art Instructor)

    I envision children sitting with their "reader" who reads bits of this delightful story about chicken needing/wanting the straw hat. Each step of the story is page turning and will involve the child as the "reader" engages them to look for specifics on each page. Good children's books involve the child in searching as well as listening to the story. The child will search for delights on the pages as chicken continues to search for something to exchange for the straw hat. (rev. VG)

    DISCLOSURE: A complimentary review copy of The Scarecrow's Hat was provided by Peachtree Publishers in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviews.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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