100 books like The Scarecrow

By Beth Ferry, Eric Fan (illustrator), Terry Fan (illustrator)

Here are 100 books that The Scarecrow fans have personally recommended if you like The Scarecrow. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Library Lion

Sharlee Glenn Author Of Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile

From my list on libraries and librarians.

Why am I passionate about this?

As I wrote in my author's note for Library on Wheels: "Growing up as a book-loving child in rural Utah in the 1960s and '70s, I developed a strong emotional connection to the bookmobile. My father died in a mining accident when I was five, leaving my mother with seven children to raise on her own. We didn't have much money or many opportunities, but every two weeks the bookmobile brought the universe to me." As a writer of children's books, I was immediately intrigued when I ran across an obscure reference to Mary Lemist Titcomb, credited with being the inventor of the bookmobile in America--and I knew at once that I had to write about her. 

Sharlee's book list on libraries and librarians

Sharlee Glenn Why did Sharlee love this book?

My grandchildren love this story about a loveable lion who shows up one day at Miss Merriweather’s library. Though he’s careful to follow the strict library rules, the day comes when he must help everyone understand that sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Featuring captivating illustrations by Kevin Hawkes, Library Lion is a joyous marriage of image and text. 

By Michelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Library Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A wonderful addition to any child's library, this is the multiple award-winning and bestselling picture book about what happens when a lion visits a library.

In this international and award-winning bestseller about the joys of discovering the library and making new friends, a lion visits the library for the very first time. The head librarian, Miss Merriweather, is very particular about rules in the library. But when the lion visits, she isn't sure what to do - there aren't any rules about lions in the library! As it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His…


Book cover of Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?

Dee Leone Author Of Dough Knights and Dragons

From my list on picture books with unlikely friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had 20 reproducible books published in the educational market, and more than 200 of my articles, word puzzles, poems, plays, and stories have appeared in magazines such as Highlights and on websites like the Disney-themed PassPorter.com. I enjoy creating book trailers and free activity kits which can be found on my website. One of my picture books is Dough Knights and Dragons. Curious about the origin of doughnuts, I created an imaginary tale about them with the goal of encouraging friendships of all kinds, setting children’s imaginations on fire, and motivating youngsters to always be hungry for books.

Dee's book list on picture books with unlikely friendships

Dee Leone Why did Dee love this book?

This is an adorable book about a predator-prey pair. Tradition says felines devour birds, so when Cat says he must eat Bird, the feathered fowl tempts Cat’s taste in other ways … by showing him “the highest tree for a cat to get stuck in,” for example. When Cat points out desirable activities for Bird, the two decide to become friends, until they realize they share nothing in common.

I love the humorous banter between the two and the clever use of different text colors to distinguish between the two speakers. I think it’s brilliantly symbolic that when the characters concentrate on differences, the illustrations are in black and white, but once they accidentally discover a shared interest, the pages are splashed with joyful colors.

By Coll Muir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Cats and birds can't be friends! They have absolutely nothing in common. After all, cats are supposed to eat birds, not play with them!

But there's something special about this prey-and-predator pair...and they may just find that it's our differences that bring us closer together.

In a delightful picture book filled with pleasing banter and hilarious quips, rising talent Coll Muir creates the perfect unlikely friendship between unexpected creatures.

Perfect for fans of Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat.


Book cover of Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale

Dee Leone Author Of Dough Knights and Dragons

From my list on picture books with unlikely friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had 20 reproducible books published in the educational market, and more than 200 of my articles, word puzzles, poems, plays, and stories have appeared in magazines such as Highlights and on websites like the Disney-themed PassPorter.com. I enjoy creating book trailers and free activity kits which can be found on my website. One of my picture books is Dough Knights and Dragons. Curious about the origin of doughnuts, I created an imaginary tale about them with the goal of encouraging friendships of all kinds, setting children’s imaginations on fire, and motivating youngsters to always be hungry for books.

Dee's book list on picture books with unlikely friendships

Dee Leone Why did Dee love this book?

George and Blaise are assigned to be pen pals and soon become friends during their correspondence. Unlike the reader/listener, the two don’t know one is human and the other is a dragon. I really enjoyed the book’s humor, which is due to dual perspectives shown by the illustrations. It’s amusing to see the characters’ assumptions when they receive letters. For example, when Blaise mentions his dad is in demolition, the human imagines a construction vehicle, while “in reality,” the dragon’s father knocks down castles with his strength and powerful wings.

Surprised when they meet, the two are able to look past their physical differences and enjoy their across-species connection. This book is a fun read with entertaining letters, clever rhymes, comical artwork, and a message of acceptance.

By Josh Funk, Rodolfo Montalvo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.

George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?

"When I was a kid, my best friend was Josh Funk. Now he's becoming a friend to a whole new generation.”--B.J. Novak, author of The New York…


Book cover of Little Beauty

Dee Leone Author Of Dough Knights and Dragons

From my list on picture books with unlikely friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've had 20 reproducible books published in the educational market, and more than 200 of my articles, word puzzles, poems, plays, and stories have appeared in magazines such as Highlights and on websites like the Disney-themed PassPorter.com. I enjoy creating book trailers and free activity kits which can be found on my website. One of my picture books is Dough Knights and Dragons. Curious about the origin of doughnuts, I created an imaginary tale about them with the goal of encouraging friendships of all kinds, setting children’s imaginations on fire, and motivating youngsters to always be hungry for books.

Dee's book list on picture books with unlikely friendships

Dee Leone Why did Dee love this book?

A sad gorilla who can use sign language asks the keepers for a friend. He’s given a kitten, and a wonderful cross-species friendship is born. I especially enjoyed the line “they did everything together,” which is accompanied by a humorous illustration showing the gorilla on a toilet and Beauty, the cat, in a litter box.

The artwork expressively captures the gorilla’s sadness, joy, worry, and anger. When a movie makes the gorilla so upset that he smashes the television, the keepers think they should take the cat away for her safety. However, Beauty hilariously changes their minds by signing that she broke the TV. This is a great story of loyalty and unlikely friendships.

By Anthony Browne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Beauty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

"No one renders primates with more faithful detail or surreal humanity than Browne." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A USBBY Outstanding International Book
An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner
Three starred reviews (Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal)

Once there was a very special gorilla who had almost everything he needed. There was only one thing he didn’t have: a friend. With no other gorillas at the zoo, the keepers try something new. Will the gigantic ape strike a bond with another sort of creature, one as tiny and innocent as a kitten? Sparked by the story of a…


Book cover of Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Author Of A Home Again

From my list on picture books on diversity and feelings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lyrical writer and have a passion for quiet, thoughtful books. I wrote A Home Again when I became an empty nester. When my husband and I were discussing downsizing our home, I was surprised by the reactions of my grown children. They absolutely did not want us to sell their family home. That led me to think about how our house would feel if we left. A new book was born. My friends, a gay couple, had just bought a new home and I thought it would be wonderful to make the second family in the story two dads. We need to show children there is a diverse array of families in the world—but what connects them all is love.

Colleen's book list on picture books on diversity and feelings

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Why did Colleen love this book?

Errol and Thomas (his teddy bear), are best friends. But Errol starts noticing that Thomas doesn’t seem to enjoy all the things they do together and seems to be sad. Eventually, Thomas admits to Errol that they had always felt like a girl bear and would like to be called Tilly. Errol doesn’t care about the bear’s gender—just that they are best friends. It’s a lovely story about unconditional love and acceptance.

By Jessica Walton, Dougal MacPherson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Introducing Teddy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it's riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can't figure out why. Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: 'In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.' And Errol says, 'I don't care if you're a…


Book cover of And Tango Makes Three

Thomas Tracy Author Of Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie's Adoption Story

From my list on about LGBTQ+ families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a gay father of two transracially adopted daughters, I am constantly searching for books that feature families like mine. It is important for children to see families that look like theirs represented in their storybooks. Unfortunately, there is a limited number of children’s books spotlighting adoption and even less featuring LGBTQ+ families. I am happy to share this list of some of my favorites that represent diverse/LGBTQ+ families.   

Thomas' book list on about LGBTQ+ families

Thomas Tracy Why did Thomas love this book?

It is hard to imagine that And Tango Makes Three was revolutionary and controversial in 2015 when it was published, but it was. However, it is one of those books that paved the way for greater diversity in children’s literature. Like so many powerful books, And Tango Makes Three is based on the real experiences of two male penguins raising a baby penguin. It is a staple book for the personal libraries of all families interested in promoting family diversity. 

By Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Henry Cole (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked And Tango Makes Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

One of the six political books for kids you should definitely read according to Zoe Williams in the Guardian, November 2018!

Roy and Silo are just like the other penguin couples at the zoo - they bow to each other, walk together and swim together. But Roy and Silo are a little bit different - they're both boys.

Then, one day, when Mr Gramzay the zookeeper finds them trying to hatch a stone, he realises that it may be time for Roy and Silo to become parents for real.


Book cover of My Heart

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Author Of A Home Again

From my list on picture books on diversity and feelings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lyrical writer and have a passion for quiet, thoughtful books. I wrote A Home Again when I became an empty nester. When my husband and I were discussing downsizing our home, I was surprised by the reactions of my grown children. They absolutely did not want us to sell their family home. That led me to think about how our house would feel if we left. A new book was born. My friends, a gay couple, had just bought a new home and I thought it would be wonderful to make the second family in the story two dads. We need to show children there is a diverse array of families in the world—but what connects them all is love.

Colleen's book list on picture books on diversity and feelings

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Why did Colleen love this book?

This book describes feelings in such a beautiful and lyrical way. It covers everything from happiness to sadness and is an excellent conversation starter. Using only a few colors, the accompanying illustrations are simple and impactful.
Sometimes, emotions such as depression can be a hard concept to talk about with children. The soft illustrations and metaphors in this book will resonate with young readers.

By Corinna Luyken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed...or opened up wide.

Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.

With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.


Book cover of The Big Umbrella

Norene Paulson Author Of What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair?

From my list on children’s picture books on inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former middle school language arts teacher, I’ve witnessed firsthand the struggles some students face trying to be accepted and the heartbreak they experience when they are not. Every child deserves to be seen and appreciated for who they are and not be excluded or ostracized due to factors over which they have little control. I write and promote picture books about friendship, acceptance, and inclusion because everyone deserves to be included…always. 

Norene's book list on children’s picture books on inclusion

Norene Paulson Why did Norene love this book?

Two things first drew me to this story. First, in our hall closet there is also a big umbrella—a big white, blue-striped umbrella which when opened is roomy enough for all our family members. Second, I love the metaphors in the book…the umbrella = shelter, rainy weather = troubles/hard times, and the variety of characters under the umbrella = family, friends, strangers, and the best part is no one is left out from beneath the umbrella as it simply gets bigger to accommodate everyone’s needs. What a compassionate, empathetic message of inclusion.

By Amy June Bates, Juniper Bates,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Big Umbrella as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

“A subtle, deceptively simple book about inclusion, hospitality, and welcoming the ‘other.’” —Kirkus Reviews

“A boundlessly inclusive spirit...This open-ended picture book creates a natural springboard for discussion.” —Booklist

“This sweet extended metaphor uses an umbrella to demonstrate how kindness and inclusion work...A lovely addition to any library collection, for classroom use or for sharing at home.” —School Library Journal

In the tradition of Alison McGhee’s Someday, beloved illustrator Amy June Bates makes her authorial debut alongside her eleven-year-old daughter with this timely and timeless picture book about acceptance.

By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is…


Book cover of Cinders and Sparrows

Jennifer Frances Adam Author Of The Last Windwitch

From my list on middle grade fantasy featuring birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been passionate about horses – in fact, I’ve adopted five wild mustangs over the years and ride often – so it’s no surprise that they often find their way into my stories. But birds and feathers tend to be important elements of my books, too. I live on a working family farm surrounded by hawks, bald eagles, blue herons, swans, owls, and countless others… but I suspect the true reason there are birds in my books has to do with the little sparrows who like to perch on my windowsill as I write!

Jennifer's book list on middle grade fantasy featuring birds

Jennifer Frances Adam Why did Jennifer love this book?

When Zita Brydgeborn, an orphan employed as a cranky widow’s maid, receives an unexpected letter delivered by a scarecrow she is thrust into the heart of a mysterious battle between good and evil. Discovering that she might be the only living heir to a dynasty of witches, she must learn more than spells and charms if she hopes to survive the foe who claimed her family’s souls. With a clever crow and two castle servants as her closest friends, Zita confronts a tangle of family secrets and sinister magic to break a deadly curse. This book is a delightfully creepy read with all the elements of my favorite stories: a brave girl with a hidden past, bird imagery, witchcraft, fiercely loyal friends, and family secrets. It’s beautifully written and strikes the perfect balance between spooky danger and gentle humor.

By Stefan Bachmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cinders and Sparrows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"Readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough."-Soman Chainani, New York Times-bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series

"An entertainingly witchy world."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A suspenseful tale of witches, family, and magic from internationally bestselling author Stefan Bachmann. When a twelve-year-old orphan unexpectedly becomes the mistress of a seemingly abandoned castle, she is thrust into a mysterious plot involving murderous spells, false identity, and a magical battle of wills between the living and the dead. Readers of Kate Milford's Greenglass House, Victoria Schwab's City of Ghosts, and Diana Wynne Jones will be riveted.


Twelve-year-old…


Book cover of Junkers

David J. Agans Author Of Debugging: The 9 Indispensable Rules for Finding Even the Most Elusive Software and Hardware Problems

From my list on to give engineers new perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the big picture—never mind what street corner I’m on, where am I on the map of the world? In fact, where am I in the plane of the solar system? (Gazing at the setting moon, I’ve worked this out!) As an engineering manager, I helped engineers debug systems with diverse technology, and found (and wrote about) principles that apply as much today as they did in 1975, using examples drawn from 30 years of my life and career. I developed a love for other timeless, classic books that helped me see the forest beyond the trees.

David's book list on to give engineers new perspectives

David J. Agans Why did David love this book?

I’m recommending this book (and the second one in the series) because it a.) is about malfunctioning technology, and b.) is laugh-out-loud funny. I write funny fiction myself and spend most of my reading time on favorite humorists like Douglas Adams, Carl Hiaasen, and Christopher Moore, but I’m always looking for new funny writers. Benjamin Wallace is my new favorite so far. Junkers is sort of sci-fi, but not so far-fetched as a galaxy far, far, away. And it’s about malfunctioning robots—I even wrote a musical comedy about that. It’s a funny topic.

By Benjamin Wallace,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Junkers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Breaking things is their business.

As robot reclamation specialists, it’s their job to stop rampaging robots that are no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. But while Jake and tight-knit his team are accustomed to dealing with a murderous nannybot, a killer scarecrow and the occasional vindictive dishwasher, they’ve never seen anything like this. All of the machines in the city are going rogue.

It’s up to these hardworking heroes to stop them and find out what’s behind the robot uprising that everyone promised could never happen.


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