Sunday 21 August 2011


Barry by Colin Thompson, (Random House)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 978-1-8647-1883-6
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh

Move over Wall-E, Barry the robot’s come to melt people’s hearts. Barry is Colin Thompson’s latest picture book for younger readers.

Barry’s a tiny robot that looks like he’s made out of scrap metal, with clamps and an air vent for his tummy. He’s been sent to save Earth but he becomes stuck at the back of someone’s sofa.
Barry’s a powerful robot who can control Earth, everything from the weather to unexplainable phenomenon like reality TV. Over time, Barry gets found by a human who tries to fix him up. This results in even more freaky changes in the weather. When Barry realises what he’s done, he sets out to undo the damage.

Thompson continues to deliver quirky stories that are backed up with some crazy illustrations. Each page has a mixture of realistic photos and stark drawings. Readers will be kept busy pointing out all the details. Thompson has created a very friendly robot with a bubbly personality. There’s an underlying environmental theme that can lead to further discussion.

Thompson’s tongue in cheek humour is splattered all over this lovely picture book. Barry is a delight to read and adore. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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