Friday, 8 October 2010


Barnesy by Allayne Webster, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $11.99
ISBN 978-1-86291-821-4
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Barnesy is a wonderfully quirky Australian story about Hannaford and his eccentric family who name everything, rescue injured animals and are inspired backyard inventors. All the characters are brilliantly realised and Webster manages to build a real picture of this family with few words. References such as Sir Robert Helpmann (the wombat) and Barnesy (the lamb named after Jimmy Barnes) add extra layers to the story.

Part of the Mates series of Great Australian Yarns, Barnesy is perfect for younger readers to enjoy reading themselves or to read with an adult. I read Barnesy with my nine-year-old son and we both giggled and laughed throughout. That is what shared reading should be all about!

Innovative presentation adds to the reading experience. The text is large with varied fonts and accompanied by Tom Jellett’s hilarious collage style illustrations. Unlike other chapter books, even for this younger age group, the illustrations are in full colour yet there is still plenty of white space so as not to overwhelm the reader.

My son and I will certainly be searching out other titles in this series.

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