Colin Thompson


Random House





Subject:Child Picture

RRP $24.95



I was immediately drawn to Barry because of this phrase:


Barry came to change the world,

but he got stuck down the back

of the sofa…(as you do)



Intrigued?  I was!

Well Barry is unique, he is a little fellow, a bit of a mixed, recycled, all sorts type of robot guy.  He is highly intelligent though, most of his brain is stored on his home planet really, really far away.  Well, he arrived on earth in 1952 on his special mission to control the world, which he did from his inner sofa home.  Floods, rain, drought, war and peace Barry did it all as was his instructions.


It went on for years, strange distortions of reality that shouldn’t really have been happening: the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot and Australia’s Got Talent.



Things changed over time, though not much inside the sofa, the lipstick he found remained the same, I think he quite liked the lipstick actually.   One day though Barry finds himself in a new place where he can see the news on the TV and he can see that a few mistakes have been made in the world control program, so like any good robot he attempts to fix the problems and put everything back to the way it was.  What could possibly go wrong?


Barry is a quirky story it has a Monty Python look about it too which adds to its oddity.  On closer inspection of Barry you may find perhaps this is a story which is exploring climate change and other environmental issues.  Or you might be like Barry and just like the lippy, either way Colin Thompson has certainly figured out how to lead the reader on a fun and unusual story that draws you in with sheer curiosity.

Colin Thompson has published over 60 books one which won the CBC Picture book of the Year 2006 – The Short and Incredible Happy Life of Riley.


A Bug in a Book review by Angela Hall.

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