Monday 24 May 2021

Fil and Harry

Fil and Harry by Jenny Blackford, illustrated by Kristin Devine (Christmas Press) PB RRP $15.99 ISBN: 9780648815402

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Fil is having a terrible day. First, her friend Kirsten ghosts her at school, and now she’s hearing things – there’s no way that Harry, her cat, can talk. Can he? Fil is shocked to discover that Harry can say more than just meow when he wants to, and he has some pretty strong opinions about Fil’s so-called friend. When things get out of hand with Kirsten, Harry comes to Fil’s rescue in the best way possible.

Award-winning author Jenny Blackford has delivered a delightful junior fiction novel suitable for kids aged seven to ten. The friendship headaches that Fil suffers from are common in this age group, so youngsters will immediately feel empathy for the troubled protagonist. And who doesn’t love the idea of owning a talking cat? Sassy and proactive, Harry is the perfect foil for Fil’s more passive personality. 

The handful of black-and-white illustrations in the book are strategically placed to draw attention to moments of high drama and intense emotion. Kristin Devine’s images are exceptionally detailed, which encourages young readers to pause and ponder what is happening in the story.

Simple yet sweet, Fil and Harry is sure to bring a smile to young faces. In exploring the nature of true friendship, the book is a guiding light for children who are starting to think more deeply about the different relationships in their own lives.

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