By Author / Illustrator
Levi Pinfold, Levi Pinfold
Mr Barleycorn picks a green baby growing on his land, letting loose the incredible power of nature. When melons grow in the kitchen and apples sprout out of their television, Mrs Barleycorn says the Greenling has to go. But the bounty and beauty of nature has a strange power - the power to bring a whole community together.
From the award-winning illustrator, Levi Pinfold, comes a modern fable about natures power, Greenling. Previous credits include Django and Black Dog. 'Mr and Mrs Barleycorn live a quiet life, alone and quite forgotten by the world. But something is growing on Barleycorn land. Something that Mr Barleycorn decides it would be best to take. And, with this, for better or worse, he brings the outside, inside'. This is a truly enchanting tale, Templar publishing use the term 'ensorcelling', meaning enchanting or to fascinate, and I think this is a great description. Greenling definitely requires reading more than once. The illustrations alone are so detailed that they draw the reader in and will keep you going back to spot more detail. Although a picture book, this could easily be used across the entire Primary range, depending on the focus. Greenling provides a variety of opportunities for discussion and debate on morality and the consequences of choices we make. As the story progresses the world beyond that of the Barleycorn's life begins to feel the impact of their choices and we are told of the world's reaction, which again provides an interesting discussion point, as you look into whether the response is justified or not. We also see Mrs Barleycorn move from a negative response, to one where she comes to Greenling's defence. There is then a sense of Greenling appreciating the support and as such there appears to be a positive response. Even though we know the premise of this story, there is still plenty of opportunity for individual interpretation of the story and its message, enabling an entire other level of interaction with the text and illustration. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Jennifer Niblett.
Suggested Reading Age 5+