Barkbelly

by Cat Weatherill

Paperback, 2008

Call number

JF WEA

Publication

Yearling (2008), 320 pages

Description

A wooden boy who is being raised by loving human parents flees after accidentally killing a playmate and begins a quest for his real home and family.

User reviews

LibraryThing member amandabock
I’m pretty sure I read about this one over at Pixie Stix. She has it tagged “Quirky and Hard to Define.” That it is. I enjoyed it, though. It would make a great read aloud- the epic quest for self-identification is moderately episodic, keeps you wondering what will happen next, and has great
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character names like Candy Pie and Farmer Muckledown. I liked it so much that I immediately picked up the companion, Snowbone, but it was too much of a good thing. I think I only got through the first chapter before realizing that I was done with the adventure. At least for a while. So often I come back to Cathie Mercier’s comment about sequels: is there really more story to tell, or do you just want more? In this case, I think, yes, there is more story there, but I don’t need any more just yet.

This story seems very un-American to me (and indeed, the author is British), and I’m trying to decide why. Part of it is the landscape; American concepts of and attitudes towards wilderness are so different from European ones. This book in particular really channels England’s long history of fantastical creatures living alongside humans. We don’t have that a part of our cultural history. Hmmm… I’m going to have to think about this some more.

I’m fascinated by covers and how they change from country to country and over time to appeal to new readers. This one is so much more appealing. I’m not sure if it’s the UK cover, or the new paperback one.
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Awards

Branford Boase Award (Shortlist — 2006)

Pages

320

ISBN

0440420776 / 9780440420774
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