'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Review: Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley

Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are the best of friends, but couldn’t be more different if they tried. While Pearl Barley is loud and boisterous and talkative, Charlie Parsley is quiet and shy and likes to sit and ponder. While Pearl likes to take risks and solve mysteries, Charlie likes to take baths and watch his garden grow.

They are opposite in almost every way, but these differences help them to appreciate and look after each other.

You see, when Pearl needs a rest from her busy, loud life, Charlie is there to bring her a mug of warm milk in bed with his 'lovely bedside manner'. And when Charlie is feeling down, Pearl uses her crazy antics to cheer him up.

This book is not only a beautifully written, easy to read, fun, lovely story, with engaging characters that are easy to identify with.

It is a great tool to use with young children as a starting point for talks about human nature, different personalities and how to be kind and look after each other. It’s also a great tool to talk about celebrating differences and allowing ourselves to be exactly who we are, knowing that our true friends will always be there for us.

I love the way it shows how sweet, loving, caring and forgiving true friendship can be, too.

Author and Illustrator Aaron Blabey conveys all of these wonderful points in a simple, poignant, engaging text and beautiful, funny, moving illustrations. He creates his characters so wonderfully, that my 4-year-old paid him the ultimate pre-school compliment by asking where he could read more “Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley” books and watch their show on TV.

In the age of characterization and merchandising, I don’t think you can get a bigger compliment from a young child than that!

- this review by Belinda Butler

Title: Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley
Author/Illustrator: Aaron Blabey
Publisher: Penguin, A$14.95
Publication Date: 2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143503071
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture book

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