Hard to fathom that Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley was Aaron Blabey‘s first picture book. Scooping a prestigious award and gracing many short lists is an impressive way to launch a debut book!
Pearl Barley and Charlie Barley is a book about friendship, humour and celebrating ourselves. Aaron’s unique illustrations bring his characters alive to create an enjoyable children’s picture book.
Pearl and Charlie are so different. Chalk and cheese. Loud versus quiet, bold versus reserved. Blabey presents each of these qualities in a manner which presents both ends of the spectrum as delightful and more than ok. It teaches courage and is perfect for helping to strengthen self-esteem in young people.
The core of this book comes from the bond between boisterous, inquisitive Pearl and introverted, shy Charlie. When Pearl wears herself out from “running amok” Charlie is there to “tuck her into bed” and bring her “a mug of warm milk.” When Charlie is feeling blue, or lonely, well Pearl is just the perfect person to tell him ” ‘I think you’re great!’ ”
The over riding message celebrates diversity of feelings and personality. Aaron Blabey achieves this with a enjoyably sensitive touch which deftly avoids clichés.
Blabey’s illustrations are filled with warmth and humour. They have a unique and quirky quality that is immediately recognisable in his subsequent children’s picture books Sunday Chutney, Pig the Pug(2015) & The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon.
Enjoy My Book Corner’s interview with Aaron Blabey.