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Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley

By Aaron Blabey

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Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Published In: Australia, 02 March 2009
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are the best of friends. But they are different in almost every way. Pearl likes solving mysteries and moves rather fast in the world. Charlie likes taking baths and watching his garden grow. So how can Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley be such goods friends?

About the Author

Aaron Blabey has won a CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) Book of the Year and an AFI Award, and his book The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon won the Patricia Wrightson Award in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and also won a Children's Peace Literature Award. Aaron has been included on the Smithsonian Institute's Notable Book List and was a National Literacy Ambassador in 2012. Find out more at or visit Aaron on Facebook https-//


K-Gr 1-A simple tale of friendship between two children who are as different as night and day. Where Pearl is loud and boisterous, Charlie is quiet and thoughtful. When Pearl forgets her mittens on a cold day, Charlie helps to keep her hands warm. Conversely, when Charlie is feeling down, Pearl cheers him up. Clearly the audience can see that these children admire the opposing personality traits that they find in one another. Blabey's painterly illustrations, rendered in acrylics and mixed media on board, allow readers to see the texture of the canvas in the characters' faces, clothes, and even in the scenery. The sometimes curving text adds levity to Pearl's exuberant moments. Use this offering as a supplement for friendship-themed storytimes.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

We all know that opposites attract and this is a story about two characters who, in spite of their differences, are the best of friends. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are different in every way-Pearl is exuberant, enthusiastic and outgoing, while Charlie is quiet, shy and introspective. Pearl runs amok in her underwear and Charlie sits and thinks. It is not so much a story, as a comparison of the two characters. The two are of indeterminate age, sometimes seeming quite childlike and at others almost adult, especially when Charlie, in his pyjamas, brings Pearl warm milk in bed, with his ‘lovely bedside manner.’ However, their various opposite attributes seem to complement each other and a feeling of happiness in each other’s company and the value of good friendship prevails. The text is short, simple and effective, but it is the acrylic and mixed-media illustrations which boldly carry the theme in this well-designed and produced book. As this is Aaron Blabey’s first children’s picture book I can’t resist asking if there will be a sequel in which Pearl and Charlie get into a stew with their friends Lara Lamb and Ollie Onion! Margaret Hamilton is a former children’s publisher. She now provides freelance publishing services and reviews

EAN: 9780143503071
ISBN: 0143503073
Publisher: Puffin
Dimensions: 27.6 x 22.6 x 0.3 centimetres (0.11 kg)
Age Range: 2-4 years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
This is a beautifully illustrated story about two children who are very different but best friends. I laughed and laughed at some of the pictures as there are elements of many children I know in some of them. My 7 yr old daughter thinks that it is wonderful too and we both laughed our way through. Great message in it for children as well.

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