Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Serious Silliness: The Scarecrow and His Servent

The Scarecrow And His Servant
Somewhere I must have read a misleading review of Philip Pullman's The Scarecrow and His Servant, because I had the vague impression that it was a morality tale that would Impart a Lesson, probably with skill and style because this is Pullman, but still, why hurry to read that? Well, now that it turned up next in my bookcase during my Summer Reading blitz, I crashed through it, smiling on many of the pages.

I guess it does leave the impression that it's bad to coat the world in poison, which is a Moral Lesson, but it goes down easy. The Scarecrow is unabashedly a Fool, and his servant Jack serves as a loyal Sancho to help carry him away from windmills and signposts. Not that there's any heavy Quixote symbolism dragging down the sprightly story of an adventuring scarecrow and his boy; the story doesn't take itself too seriously and Jack understands what's going on, which keeps the author from continuously winking at the reader.
BarockSchloss CC License
I'm definitely handing this out to my boys when they get home from their European vacation; it's an fairly easy read that won't cause indigestion later.

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