Pearlie in Central Park, by Wendy Harmer

It was a crisp winter morning and Pearlie was riding high in the sky on Queen Emerald’s magic ladybird. Her home was far, far away. Down below, she could see the whole of Central Park, New York City.
‘Hurly-burly!’ cried Pearlie. ‘This place is huge! Crystal must be the busiest fairy ever.’

Pearlie, the fairy, is more commonly to be found in Sydney, but in this adventure she’s off to see her friend, Crystal. She flies there on a magic ladybird and is enchanted with the view of the snowy park. But when she lands, she discovers there’s been a misunderstanding. Instead of holidaying with her friend, she discovers she is to look after the park while Crystal is off on a holiday of her own. Swallowing her disappointment, she makes friends with some squirrels, who promise to show her how to look after the park and its inhabitants. Full colour illustrations from Gypsy Taylor bring colour to the snow-covered park.

Pearlie always makes the best of things, so her initial disappointment at not seeing her friend soon abates. She is filled with curiosity and fun, and keen to learn about a very different park in a very different climate. Pearlie soon discovers a way to have fun AND convince the greedy birds to share their food. Her enthusiasm and creative problem solving show that being a leader and helping others can be rewarding in many ways. The Pearlie books are halfway between picture and chapter books and will be enjoyed by young readers and pre-readers happy to flit though the illustrations just as Pearlie does.

Pearlie in Central Park

Pearlie in Central Park, Wendy Harmer ill Gypsy Taylor
Random House 2010

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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