Reviewed by Emma Johnston
The Railway Rabbits: Barley and the Duck Race is the 9th book in this series by Georgie Adams. The books all follow the lives of the Longears family and their many adventures. Each book starts with a lovely introduction telling you all about each family member, so there is no need to have read the previous stories to be able to enjoy this book. You get to meet them all, Whisher, Bramble, Bracken, Berry and Fern, along with their parents Mellow and Barley. It tells you a little about each characters personality, their likes, dislikes and their favourite sayings. There is also a family tree and map of Ripple River Valley where they all live.
This story revolves around the father, Barley and his close escape from their arch enemy Burdock the Buzzard. Barley takes an unexpected dip in the river and an even more unexpected flight with Hazel Heron! We meet some lovely new characters, Florence and Skittles the cats and follow the story to see how Barley finds himself in the middle of a pet show. Threatened with becoming somebody’s pet, Barley manages to escape only to end up in the middle of the annual duck race. A lovely story told from the rabbits own perspective had my daughter laughing out loud as the animals struggle to make sense of the people-folks obsession with the bright yellow ducks and the confusion around what exactly has happened to Barley!
I would thoroughly recommend this book and indeed the entire Railway Rabbits series. The books are well written and easy for my daughter to understand. They have a good balance of mystery and humour and are not too long that she loses interest or forgets the plot. They are beautifully illustrated throughout and a real treat to read together.
I’m very glad that we stumbled across this series of books and look forward to reading more soon.
RRP: £4.99 (paperback)
Available to buy from Orion Books here.