I’ve been lucky enough to read and review three of Peta Lemon’s children’s books so I was delighted when she sent me her latest, Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret, in return for an honest review.
You’ll find my review of Peta’s Timmy on the Toilet here, The Fed-Up Cow here and The Bins of Cotteridge Down here.
Published by Quirky Picture Press on 14th January 2020, Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret is available for purchase here.
Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret
Farmer Haystack makes a scarecrow to rid his farm of pesky birds and make lots of lovely money.
When all the birds disappear in a day the farmer is delighted and becomes rich beyond his wildest dreams.
But the scarecrow is hiding a BIG BAD secret. What will happen when the farmer finds out the real reason all the birds have gone?
Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret is a bright and colourful, rhyming picture book that appeals to boys as well as girls. It is longer than standard picture books (42 pages) and so suitable for slightly older children, suggested age 5-7 years.
My Review of Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret
The farmer wants the birds scared away because they are eating all his crops.
Once again Peta Lemon has created a super children’s book. As always with a Peta Lemon book, the illustrations bring the text of Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret to life perfectly. Maria Dasic Todoric’s pictures are a delight and help less confident independent readers comprehend the text more easily.
There’s so much to enjoy in the story with echoes of Alice in Wonderland as Scarecrow grows huge having eaten all the food, and Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret affords plenty of discussion about greed, sharing and being kind. I thought the underpinning message of learning from our mistakes and not being afraid to admit we are wrong was such a good idea. There’s humour and a lovely exploration of friendship too, with a clear theme around the environment so that Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret would be brilliant for home or classroom discussion. Similarly, I loved the lesson that material items do not necessarily make us happy and that nature needs protecting instead. I could see this story being translated into a fabulous school play if ever circumstances allow it again.
As I have come to expect from Peta Lemon’s children’s books, rhyme and rhythm are deftly used so that spelling patterns are clear, and there is a super balance of familiar and new vocabulary to meet the needs of any ability. Words like ‘abundance’ will add to a child’s lexicon, but other more familiar words will enable less strong readers to access the story independently.
Scarecrow’s Big Bad Secret is a vibrant, entertaining book that children – even those as old as me – will love!
About Peta Lemon
Peta Lemon is the author of beautifully illustrated children’s picture books, published under the imprint Quirky Picture Press.
Her books are always funny, written in rhyme and illustrated by Maria Dasic Todoric.
You can find Peta on Facebook.