Scarecrow cover Scarecrow flap

Peggy needs some new clothes for a fancy party. But nothing at the store looks right.

On the way home, Peggy sees the perfect outfit — on a scarecrow! No one will notice if she takes the scarecrow's outfit, will they?

But that night, there's a scratchy voice at Peggy's door. Give me back my clothes! Who could it be?

ages: 4 and up

Illustrations from The Scarecrow's New Clothes:

pages 6 and 7Peggy shopping



Eek!pages 24 and 25

from the Booklist review of The Scarecrow's New Clothes

       Excitable Peggy returns for a fourth outing, squaring off against an animate scarecrow in this lively take on a familiar folktale motif. After much fruitless shopping, Peggy finds the perfect outfit for an upcoming party. That it happens to be adorning a scarecrow doesn't stop her from filching it, and sailing home to primp. That night, however, there are footsteps on her stairs, and a repeated demand: "Give me back my clothes!" A short power failure later, Peggy is left stripped to her bloomers. Fright changes to annoyance when Peggy hears the scarecrow laughing out in the field, which gives her the courage to turn the tables.
       Thiesing uses deep blues and intense hues to give the cartoon illustrations an eerie tone, but neither Peggy nor the scarecrow, whose long nose and straw-tufted extremities give it a lionlike look, will frighten children any more than they want to be frightened. A funny take on an old favorite.
       -John Peters
       Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved



from the Children's Literature review of The Scarecrow's New Clothes

       After searching high and low for the perfect outfit to wear to a special event, Peggy is discouraged that she just does "not have anything to wear." She has spent a good deal of time trying on all sorts of outfits and combinations of odds and ends. Her efforts are aptly portrayed in the cute, lighthearted cartoon images; little people will easily identify with the "dress up" aspect of the story. Frustrated by her lack of success, Peggy is out walking when she spies the perfect ensemble—the outfit just happens to be decorating a scarecrow. She decides to replace, one piece at a time, the scarecrow's clothes with her own old things so that no one will know that she has taken the his apparel.
       The sequence and excellent picture clues will serve to reinforce the readers' skills of using "first, then, next, etc." After Peggy has donned all of the purloined clothes, the scarecrow is most unhappy and appears at Peggy's house demanding, "Give me back my clothes." The lights go out because of the storm that is now raging outside. When the lights come back on, we see Peggy standing in her chemise and pantaloons! Sad and disappointed she goes out into the night (storm has ceased) and catches up with the scarecrow. In a dramatic double spread she shouts "BOO" so loudly it scares the scarecrow right out of the "perfect outfit." Peggy re-dresses in the clothes that have been left behind by the fleeing scarecrow.
       Early readers will enjoy the chill of repeatedly reading the spooky words "Give me back my clothes." Pair this with The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything as an interesting lesson in predicting the plot and anticipating the ending.
       This title is part of Dutton's "Early Reader" series.

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