Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Wooden boy seeks family in sprawling adventure.

Barkbelly Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Like Barkbelly himself, this book is not quite like anything else you've read. Reading the flap copy you might be tempted to think it's a Pinocchio variation, but aside from being about a wooden boy on a journey, they're not much alike.

Storyteller and first-time author Cat Weatherill has a unique imagination, and she puts it to work with a light touch on the fantasy elements, some lyrical language, and a picaresque journey through a fascinating world. It's an unfortunate surprise, then, that after displaying such deft handling of her unusual story, the author resorts to a deus ex machina to magically resolve the story into a too-pat ending. But this doesn't dampen the pleasure of the rest of the book, and Weatherill partially makes up for it by including a delightful little fable as an epilogue.

Book Details

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