Wednesday, January 4, 2012

'Hello, Barney' by Mary K. Pershall

This is a very moving and thought-provoking story and I must admit that had to wipe a tear or two away at the end. Long ago in the Australian bush, a little boy called William Jackson trapped a young cockatoo and put him in a cage (which I found hard to accept). He named him Barney. From that first day together until William was an old man Barney was his special pet. This is basically the story of what Barney saw from his cage in William's garden; the changing seasons, the passing years, the growing up of both children and the gum trees. And what happens when William Jackson is too old to care for Barney anymore...
The illustrations by Mark Wilson are simple stunning and how much character does the aged face of William Jackson have? Heaps. This is one of the best picture books I have ever read and raises many philosophical questions about caring for pets, and old age.

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