Saturday, 10 September 2011
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley is the first picture book by author Aaron Blabey. Cleverly written and illustrated, the story tells the delightful tale of friendship between individuals with many differences. This book won the 2008 Children’s Book Council Awards — Book of the Year, for Early Childhood books and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier Literacy Awards and the Crighton Award for New Illustrators. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley was also listed on the 2008 Smithsonian Institutes' Notable Book list. And you can clearly see why.
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley has fast become a favourite in our home. Not only do we love the names of the two characters, the book provokes lots of laughter and conversation from my children, and we like to talk about the differences between the two friends. Apart from the obvious gender difference, we learn that Pearl Barley is out going and adventurous. She is loud and flamboyant and full of energy. Where as Charlie Parsley is quieter. He is a bit shy and insular and likes quiet activities. However, despite their differences, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are the best of friends.
What we love about this book is that the images are very engaging. You can really feel and see the differences between the two characters. I like the message of tolerance, courage, independence and friendship throughout the book. These virtues are easily understood by both of my children and they have been able to apply them in their own lives, demonstrating acceptance of each others' differences as siblings and also the differences of their friends.
If you haven't seen Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley before, buy, borrow or beg your library to get it in and support a talented Australian author. It is great reading for children aged 4 - 8, and adults will enjoy the message too.
image sourced, Penguin Books Australia