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Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long

Otis and the Scarecrow

by Loren Long

Series: Otis

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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.

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.

Acrylic ( )
  Lucymae | Feb 4, 2016 |
We always love Otis stories and the illustrations never disappoint either. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 18, 2015 |
This is a modern fantasy picture book about otis the tractor and his farm friends. A scarecrow is added to the corn fields at otis' farm, but not him or the animals are able to get the scarecrow to smile. Eventually they all leave him alone and go play their games. Their favorite game to play is the quiet game, where they see who can stay silent the longest. One day they are all sitting under the apple tree while it is raining. Otis sees the scarecrow standing out in the rain all by himself. He goes down the hill and sits with the scarecrow in the rain. Eventually all the animals come and join them and they play the quiet game with the scare crow who wins. ( )
  kvelin | Mar 31, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399163964, Hardcover)


On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, the farmer has introduced someone new—a scarecrow to shoo away the pesky crows. But when Otis and the animals greet the scarecrow with friendly smiles, the scarecrow’s frown never leaves his face. So everyone leaves him alone.

Then one day, when a cold autumn rain sets in, Otis and the animals snuggle close and play Otis’s favorite game: the quiet game. Otis knows the puppy and ducks can’t sit still for long, and soon the farm friends begin to giggle and squirm, feeling warmed by one another’s friendship . . . but on this day, Otis can't seem to take his eyes off the lonely figure in the cornfield.
A deeply resonant book about subtle acts of compassion and standing up for others, featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis.


"Otis the tractor’s goodhearted nature continues to shine in his fifth picture book."  –Publishers Weekly

“Readers will enjoy this sixth tale of an admirable leader who does the right thing with quiet confidence.” –Booklist 

“Teachers will see the connection between the lonely scarecrow and the outsider in the classroom and will be able to find many uses for this volume in the curriculum. Fans will enjoy this more cerebral Otis and might build a little empathy along the way.” –Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:32 -0400)

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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