Author: V.A. Boeholt
Illustrator: Nathaniel P. Jensen
Publisher: Five Star Publications
ISBN: 978-1-58985-202-0

From then on, Burton stood proudly as he guarded Farmer Green’s field. Burton was happy and, with his little friends and Ribbon nearby, he was never lonely again,” V.A. Boeholt writes in her children’s story, Burton the Kind Scarecrow.

First book of the Burton the Scarecrow, Friendship Tales from the Farm series, this letter-sized paperback book has thirty-six pages and is targeted toward readers ages five to ten years old. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it concentrates on friendship and helping others. Illustrator Nathaniel P. Jensen’s full-page color, painted artworks are expressive and engaging.

Burton takes his scarecrow job seriously while watching over Farmer Green’s crops. When mice visit and want to use the inside of a pumpkin for their home, he offers them his hat. When a crow wants to take bean vines for a nest, he gives his overalls. And when two bunnies want to confiscate large rhubarb leaves for shelter, he presents his woolen jacket.

Yet when winter comes, poor Burton is cold, helpless, and lonesome as the snow builds up around him and the twine that holds him up shreds, dropping him into a pile on the ground. Left with nothing to offer, he feels sad and dejected.

When spring arrives, Farmer Green sees the pitiful condition the scarecrow is in and begins to set up a new post for a new scarecrow. This makes Burton even sadder until all his animal friends that he gave his belongings to return and not only dress him up nicely, they build a nice lady scarecrow next to him to keep him company.

While teaching it is better to give than to receive, this book is a great starting point to teach young children to be kind, loving, and considerate to others. Boeholt engages the young reader to think about actions and reactions in relationships.

At the end of the book, there is a resource guide explaining the story’s concepts, along with the history of scarecrows, reading / listening tips, activity ideas, learning points, online information, and a helpful glossary. Also included are biographies of author, illustrator, and publisher with an order form.

This is a wonderful first book in an educational series that introduces kindness and companionship through encouragement to others and working as a team while explaining scarecrows at the same time. It offers several learning options for the range of readers who can enjoy it over and over again.

This book was furnished by Five Star Publications in lieu of an unbiased review.

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