Colin Buchanan (text), Roland Harvey (illus.), Little Barry Bilby had a Fly upon his Nose, Scholastic, 1 March 2015, 24pp, $19.99, (comes with CD), ISBN 9781743621899
An Aussie version of the classic ‘Little Peter Rabbit’ song, crafted by award-winning author/musician, Colin Buchanan, with adorable illustrations by Roland Harvey; Little Barry Bilby had a Fly upon his Nose is sure to have preschoolers twitching and bouncing along to the rhythm from start to end.
With friends including Barry Bilby, Peter Possum and Colly Cocky, their respective fly, mozzie and beetle pesterers just won’t go away. Common Australian native animals, each with their own alliterated names, are introduced as defenceless creatures that are bombarded with every specie of insect. The bizzy buzzy bush bugs irritate and tease them until their only escape is to jump in the creek.
There are three verses of side-splittingly funny scenes, sliding and scattered text, and repeating, rollicking lyrics. With fittingly fluid earthy and muted watercolour tones, Harvey’s paintings exude charisma, warmth and appeal that contribute to the story’s liveliness and wit.
This song book, with its added bonus CD, makes Little Barry Bilby had a Fly upon his Nose yet another Aussie classic to engage its audience, young and old, for decades to come.
reviewed by Romi Sharp