Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Nutmeg and Barley: A Budding Friendship

Nutmeg and Barley: A Budding Friendship

Janie Bynum
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Candlewick Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0763623821

There once lived a squirrel called Nutmeg and a mouse called Barley. They were neighbors but they did not socialize because they were so different. Nutmeg was a bouncy, loud creature who loved the sun and loved to dance. Barley, on the other hand, was very quiet and shy. He liked the “cool shade and gentle breezes” and he liked to sit and listen to music and not to dance to it.

No matter how much Nutmeg tried to draw Barley out, he remained aloof and withdrawn until the day when Barley left her some flowers. This delighted Nutmeg and she hoped she would see him again, but for days afterwards there was no sign of the little mouse. At last Nutmeg could stand it no longer and she went over to Barley’s little house to see if he was all right. What she found there quickly had Nutmeg switching into high gear. Barley needed help and she was going to do what she could to be there for him.

In this sweet picture book children will watch the blossoming of a friendship between two very different creatures who at first seem to have nothing in common. It is only when they spend some time together that they find that they share a common interest and love. By reaching out to each other in good times and bad they are able to make this delightful discovery.

Warm illustrations and a meaningful storyline makes this a winning picture book for young children.