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The Scarecrow and His Servant

Philip Pullman & Peter Bailey

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Description

A tattered scarecrow stands in the middle of a muddy field, taking no notice of the violent thunderstorm around him. But when a bolt of lightning strikes him, fizzing its way through his turnip head and down his broomstick, the Scarecrow blinks with surprise–and comes to life.
So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant. Leaving behind his bird-scaring duties, the Scarecrow sets out for Spring Valley, with Jack at his side. As the valiant Scarecrow plunges them into terrifying dangers–battles, brigands, broken hearts, and treasure islands–he never realizes he’s being followed by the one family who desperately wishes he’d never sprung to life. Will the Scarecrow discover the secret to his past before the crooked Buffalonis close in on him?

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 01, 2005 – In this witty and moving fairy tale from Pullman (The Golden Compass; I Was a Rat!), a scarecrow comes miraculously to life in a wartorn England. "Remember where you belong. Be courteous, and be brave, and be honorable, and be kind. And best of blooming luck," says the farmer who creates the straw-stuffed hero. Does it matter that intelligence and worldliness were left out of the farmer's blessings? Not a bit: These qualities are supplied in abundance by the orphaned youngster Jack, whom the jaunty scarecrow takes on as his servant. Picaresque adventures ensue: Jack and his master best a band of brigands, make their stage debut, join an army regiment and, when Jack convinces his master to desert (unbeknownst to the Scarecrow) by escaping on a raft, they get shipwrecked on an island. The scarecrow also falls in love (with a beguiling broom, who is—alas!—betrothed to a rake), all the while maintaining "the inner conviction that a man of property," destined to be landlord of a place called Spring Valley. Adding a shiver of suspense is a subplot about the sinister lawyer Cercorelli, who is tracking down the scarecrow for his employers, the greedy Buffaloni clan, who have their own plans for Spring Valley. Like the classic tales from which it draws inspiration, this story has a sense of always having been there, just waiting to be told. Bailey's delicate line drawings complement the winning characterizations and assured pacing. Ages 8-12.
The Scarecrow and His Servant
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction
  • Published: Aug 23, 2005
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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