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Otis and the Scarecrow

av Loren Long

Serier: Otis the Tractor (5)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1718121,456 (3.28)Ingen/inga
When the farmer places a scarecrow in the cornfield, Otis the tractor and the farm animals try to make friends, but the scarecrow remains silent with a sour look on his face throughout the summer and fall.
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Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
Good message, but way too long for even a preschool storytime. ( )
  AnnaWaffles | Aug 28, 2020 |
Otis the tractor and his farmyard friends return in this fifth picture-book devoted to their adventures, this time confronting an unfriendly, uncommunicative newcomer on the farm, in the shape of a sour-looking scarecrow. When their initial friendly overtures are ignored, Otis and the animals seemingly ignore the scarecrow, although the tractor watches him from afar. Then one rainy day in autumn, in the middle of playing a game with his friends, Otis comes to a decision. He gets up, goes over to the scarecrow, and sits in silence with him. The animals follow suit, engaging in the "who can keep silent longest" game recently introduced to them by the tractor, and eventually dissolving into the inevitable hilarity. Although their actions have no visible effect on the scarecrow, the narrative leaves us with the impression that somehow, deep down, the companionship provided by the farm friends has given him some happiness...

Like its predecessors, Otis and the Scarecrow pairs an engaging story with immensely appealing illustrations. The theme here - that of an outsider who is reluctant or unwilling to make friends with the other farm residents - reminded me a bit of Otis and the Tornado, in which the bull, now a part of the friendly gang, angrily rejected all attempts at friendship, until Otis' bravery in saving him won him over. Here, however, we have a somewhat subtler problem. The scarecrow is not angry or hostile, rather, he is withdrawn and unresponsive. His emotional state is unknown, but his solitude suggests loneliness and possibly even depression. Otis' decision to just sit quietly with him, in the hopes that his company might do some good, is a sensitive, thoughtful one. It reminded me a bit of The Rabbit Listened, a recent picture-book from author/illustrator Corrie Doerrfeld which makes the point that sometimes the best way to offer comfort to someone in distress is to just be there, and let them direct the interaction. The open-ended conclusion here, in which the readers never really knows if the scarecrow is positively effected, creates a somewhat more somber feeling than in the other Otis books, something I found entirely appropriate in a story set (mostly) in autumn. Recommended to those who have read and enjoyed the other stories about Otis the tractor, as well as to those looking for children's stories about attempting to deal compassionately with a determined outsider. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 25, 2018 |
I can't do it.  I cannot accept the ambiguity of Schrodinger's Cat, I cannot accept the ambiguity of whether or not the Scarecrow on Otis's farm is alive, with feelings, or not, and I cannot rate this book.  A review on goodreads suggests that the moral of this is 'always be kind, whether or not you'll get rewarded even with feedback,' but I'm not sure the book effectively conveys that.  Still, it is an Otis book, and therefore worth your time.  You read it, and let me know what you think.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This story about loneliness has a surprise ending and an interesting message wbout people who are different. ( )
  jnmwheels | Apr 3, 2016 |
A brief summary:
A tractor named Otis and his farm animal friends live on a farm where they love to play together. One day, the farmer introduces a scarecrow to the farm. Otis and the farm animals try to greet the scarecrow but they give up after none of them can get the scarecrow to smile or say hello. One day, Otis and the farm animals are gathered under a tree playing the silent game. Otis looks to find the scarecrow standing sadly in the rain and decides to go out and sit with him. Shortly after, the farm animals follow Otis and they all play the quiet game with the scarecrow, who wins.

My personal reaction:
I think the author created a story that can easily resonate with any reader. This story makes me think of a boy sitting alone at a lunch table who appears to have no friends, but is eventually joined by someone who decides to reach out to him. In doing so, the story shows the power of compassion and reaching out to those around you.

A couple of uses:
- Use as a way of teaching students to reach out to those who seem left out. Ask the students what kind of emotions they feel when they feel left out by others.
- Have students read other books from the Otis series and discuss what qualities make Otis a good friend to those around him.

Genre:
This book qualifies as fantasy because it features a tractor and farm animals that act in ways that are unrealistic, such as playing the silent game together.

Media:
Acrylic ( )
  Lucymae | Feb 4, 2016 |
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When the farmer places a scarecrow in the cornfield, Otis the tractor and the farm animals try to make friends, but the scarecrow remains silent with a sour look on his face throughout the summer and fall.

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