Cover image for Waltz of the scarecrows
Waltz of the scarecrows
McGeorge, Constance W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Chronicle Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
While staying with her grandparents on their farm, Sarah discovers the secret behind the local tradition of dressing the scarecrows in formal gowns and fancy coats.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 35310.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



While spending the summer at her grandparents' farm, Sarah helps her Grandma and Grandpa stuff old evening clothes with straw and sew buttons onto linen faces. But these are no ordinary scarecrows. Dressed in top hats and tails, ball gowns and gloves, these scarecrows look as if they're ready for a night on the town. And, indeed, they are! Soon, Sarah learns the secret of the annual Harvest Ball and helps bring the legend to life. Accompanied by beautiful watercolour illustrations, this mysterious and magical tale will delight readers of all ages. Ages 3-8.

Author Notes

Constance McGeorge dedicates her time to writing children's books and painting. She lives with her husband, James, three dogs and a horse in Columbus, Ohio.Mary Whyte is an accomplished artist best known for her watercolor paintings. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and their golden retriever.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Scarecrows are taking their turn in a bonanza of fall picture books that aren't Halloween stories. In this scarecrow tale, Sarah is puzzled when her grandparents begin dressing their annual scarecrows in a faded blue ball gown and an evening coat and top hat instead of ragged old clothes. Her grandparents explain that many years before, as people in the farming community were wearing their fanciest clothes for an outdoor dance, a swarm of birds swooped down and began tearing into the crops in the fields. It was people with "black coats flapping" and "colorful dresses billowing" that frightened the birds away. As Grandma and Grandpa finish dressing the lady and gentleman scarecrows, they tell Sarah that sometimes people think they see the scarecrows dancing. The paintings fill each page with washes of color, matching the graceful story and showing the people with a softly realistic glow. A good additional purchase. --Susan Dove Lempke

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-On a visit to her grandparents' farm, Sarah is awakened by Grandpa, who announces that it's time to make scarecrows. Instead of rags, the scarecrows in this farm community wear old party clothes. When the child asks why, her grandfather begins a tale of long ago when hungry birds descended on the town and were chased away by a group of people attending a harvest ball. Ever since, the scarecrows have been dressed in fancy attire. Legend also has it that folks have seen the scarecrows waltz in their fancy satins and top hats during the full moon. The story ends with a wordless double spread depicting a luminous fall evening when scarecrows are hopping fences to join others dancing in a field. From the endpaper of golden straw to the final spread, the text and illustrations are sure to win the hearts of children. Whyte's watercolors are detailed and have dramatic perspectives that lend excitement to the story. An added bonus: readers are encouraged to find a cleverly hidden scarecrow on each page. Pair this story with Helen Ketteman's Year of No More (Orchard, 1993) for a seasonal storyhour.-Olga R. Barnes, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.