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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 21st Century Classic
This delightful book tells the story of a scarecrow brought to life when it is struck by lightning. He is a pompous, blustering fellow, yet likeably in his naivety. Wanting adventures and to see the world, he employs a young boy, Jack, to be his servant. The story is told in lots of short chapters, each a mini adventure, in which one of the scarecrow's body parts is...
Published on 17 Feb 2005 by Chrestomanci

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A review by a 9 year old
I liked this book because it was funny and an adventure.I think the idea of a scarecrow and his servant is unique and I really like the characters. I particularly liked the part where the scarecrow fell in love with a broom!
I felt that some language was a bit hard to understand and so I would probably recommend this book for children that are at least 8 years...
Published 11 months ago by Mr. R


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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 21st Century Classic, 17 Feb 2005
By 
Chrestomanci (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Scarecrow and his Servant (Hardcover)
This delightful book tells the story of a scarecrow brought to life when it is struck by lightning. He is a pompous, blustering fellow, yet likeably in his naivety. Wanting adventures and to see the world, he employs a young boy, Jack, to be his servant. The story is told in lots of short chapters, each a mini adventure, in which one of the scarecrow's body parts is either lost, broken or stolen ... and then replaced. This raises an interesting question (and plot-twist) when, by the end of the book, everything about him is different: is he still the same scarecrow or not?
As with all Philip Pullman's books, the writing is a delight. Not a wasted word. The subject matter is probably best suited to younger readers 7 - 10, or as a series of bedtime stories for 5 - 7 year-olds. Charmingly illustrated by Peter Bailey.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The kind of story you'd love to have invented yourself, 27 Nov 2005
I read this to my two sons age 10 and 8 as a change from their own reading. We all loved it. Everyone reviewing him defaults to Pullman's merits as "a storyteller"- but you just cant avoid admiring the beautiful characterisations, imaginative locations (that dreamlike otherworldliness in just about all his work), and perfect pace. Reading this aloud was a treat- the dialogue is light and flows (in stark contrast to JKR!) and the pace is well judged throughout. The storyline (a scarecrow who comes to life and deems to take on a rootless boy through a series of risky confrontations) places this book firmly for kids who love a good yarn, (and adults who love a good childrens book).
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visually beautiful book, 11 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Scarecrow and his Servant (Hardcover)
I agree that Phillip Pullman has done it again with The Scarecrow and His Servant - it's a wonderfully told fairytale for all age-groups, and a story which warms and stays with you for a long time after it's been read. However, I would like to say how much I enjoyed and valued the illustrations by Peter Bailey and how much they enhance and complete the book - and actually MAKE it, for me. So often illustrations go unnoticed or are unappreciated, even in children's books (especially when the author is as popular and well-known as Phillip Pullman) but in my opinion the illustrations for this story make the book a gem.
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120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest book from a writer of genius, 8 Nov 2004
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Scarecrow and his Servant (Hardcover)
Philip Pullman carries the torch for children's writing; he's the first writer of children's books to win the Whitbread award for doing so. "The Scarecrow and his Servant" is evidence aplenty of just why he deserved the award. He writes a great story, and he doesn't patronise his readership. In fact, he writes for a readership, not for children, and delivers an exciting, absorbing narrative direct to his reader, not to a child. He establishes one major fact which all writers should learn - whatever the average age of your readership, they want to be entertained, they want to be challenged, they want to know what happens on the next page.
In "The Scarecrow and his Servant", we are in some distant, over-the-next-horizon fantasy land, where a scarecrow can be brought to life by a lightning strike. It's not just Frankenstein's creation that can benefit from electrical charges. He teams up with young Jack, who is about as bright as the "Wizard of Oz's" tin man, and sets off on a variety of adventures, pursued all the way by an evil lawyer. It's a well-paced adventure, with horror, and comedy, and drama, and a host of allusions to other literary favourites.
"The Scarecrow and his Servant" is the latest offering from a major writer. It will engross, it will entertain, it will keep you turning the pages, whatever your age.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't dismiss it before reading, 29 May 2005
By 
Laura T (Bradford-on-Avon, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Scarecrow and his Servant (Hardcover)
Although many people would probably only read this book if they were aged 10 or under, it really could be enjoyed by anyone of any age. I found it hilarious and the story, although simple, had a wonderful logic to it that culminated in the great court scene! Jack and the Scarecrow were both very funny and individual characters and although there were many traditional elements to the story, it never seemed cliched or derivative. I would recommend it to anyone, along with most of what Philip Pullman has written. I also liked the illustrations in this book and they really do add to the story.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful!, 6 Jan 2005
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Scarecrow and his Servant (Hardcover)
I purchased this book for our daughter last Christmas and somehow we all ended up having a couple of chapters read outloud each night for the whole family to enjoy. I enjoyed reading this book so much and the family were gripped. It is written in a style that I would have enjoyed when I was a child and the relationship between the scarecrow and Jack is one of such loyalty and the adventures they have always sees them looking out for one another. It really is the nicest story that I have read to my children for many years. I first heard about the author through a French neighbour and what a great recommendation. I will definitely be reading more of his books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect., 25 Jan 2006
By 
A. Willmer (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Philip Pullman is quickly becoming the most important children's writer of not only this time, but of all time. With 'His Dark Materials' he helped give critical credibility to the genre and inspired young readers with with his fantasic multiple universes and daemons. But is perhaps his ability to speak to children on their level that Pullman really sets himself apart from the rest.
In 'Scarecrow' Pullman not only deals with friendship and what it means to be a friend but he also brings into question the nature of captilaism. But this is never done in a manner that could be considered preaching. He paints a picture and then lets the audience make up their minds thus giving children the respect they deserve.
On the whole this is a quaint, enjoyable tale. The pce is rip roaring, the prose crisp and to the point while the geography of the text is astounding for such a short work. If it wasn't for the ending 'Scarecrow' would certainly have deserved the full fivestars. As it is the climax is arguably the most stilted part of the book. The element of believability seems to fade slightly - only slightly - but it puts a downer on an otherwise great book that will, no doubt, be read for years. And if I seem like I'm nit picking then Pullman only has himself to blame. If he hadn't set such high standards with his previous work then we wouldn't expect so bloody much, would we?! I look forward to his next release as ever
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A review by a 9 year old, 24 Jan 2014
I liked this book because it was funny and an adventure.I think the idea of a scarecrow and his servant is unique and I really like the characters. I particularly liked the part where the scarecrow fell in love with a broom!
I felt that some language was a bit hard to understand and so I would probably recommend this book for children that are at least 8 years old.
I have given this book 3 stars because I felt that it took a while to get into as the start seemed a bit slow but once it gets going its great.
I would possibly like to read more books by Philip Pullman in the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT AND ENTERTAINING READ!, 28 Oct 2014
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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I understand that Philip Pullman is one of the most popular children's writers of today. The first book I ever purchased by him was part of a trilogy called `Northern Lights', (see my review for that title) and although I had two attempts at reading it, found it very boring, overlong and totally unenjoyably... (By the way; whilst I appreciate those who enjoy his work, one must keep in mind that the whole point of reviews is not to simply hear what you `want' to hear; the point of Amazon reviews is not some kind of fan base whereby those who've read a particular book and think it's great feels obliged to then `thumbs down' a contrary review - this is extremely juvenile behaviour, and that the aim of reviews is for those out there who have NOT read the book to get an even-handed and comprehensive selection of reviews both for and against a certain book. It seems more and more lately, that when someone has such a large following, the `fans' get angry and become very childish and simply slam any negative reviews which serves no purpose whatsoever as everybody sees through it...)

However; (lecture over) in total contrast, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found the story extremely entertaining and I loved the illustrations too! Lately I'm reading more and more children's books because on the whole, they seem to be better written than a lot of adult novels these days. (not sure why that is - or what it tells us about modern writers) I thought the scarecrow character both ridiculous and funny and thoroughly entertaining, and I couldn't wait to read more about Jack and his next adventure at each chapter!

The only thing I would say negatively, is there appears to be a bit of a lack of continuity; the story seems to be set in `olden' times. (certainly not the present day) Noting the style and the illustrations, I would say probably around the Victorian era, yet this is let down when terms and phrases are used, such as `winning the lottery' (quite early on) the reference to some characters wearing `dark glasses'?? Then terms such as characters needing `therapy'??? I thought this a great shame in an otherwise `perfect' book, as this does destroy some of the authenticity of the story setting for me... I also noticed lack of continuity in the illustrations too; halfway through the story, the scarecrow's turnip head is replaced by a coconut, but in some of the illustrations he is still shown as having a turnip... These are small niggles though in an otherwise superb read, and I SO enjoyed this book in total contrast to my opinion of Mr. Pullman's other that I tried to read, that I have since purchased two more by him; `Clockwork' and `The Firework Maker's Daughter'. I feel certain that both these will be just as enjoyable and entertaining as this!

Highly recommended!

NOTE: Fell about laughing when told of the little piece of unexplained wood that fell down out of the the trouser leg of the scarecrow towards the end... ;-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun., 13 Mar 2010
By 
Sean Higgins "claygate" (Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My nine year old boy was given this as a present. I thought it might be a bit un-sophisticated but having looked at it i found the language very enriching. My son ( a well read boy) loved it. He thought it was hilarious, and raced through it.

The times review said it was excellent also while one reviewer here said it was rubbish. I urge you to ignore the rubbish review.
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The Scarecrow and his Servant
The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman (Hardcover - 4 Nov 2004)
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