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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Girl With the Parrot on Her Head, written and illustrated by Daisy Hirst. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016. $22.00 ages 4 and up

"So when she found the biggest box she'd ever seen, the girl with the parrot on her head called out, "Aha! This box is perfect for the wolf."
However, something was already inside. "Oh," said Isabel. "Is this your box?" "Sort of," said the boy. "I was going to use it for a den." "
Why not a castle?" asked Isabel. "Why not an ostrich farm? "

I wonder if you know a child who seems to march to a different drummer; who is resilient, self-reliant, occasionally scared, very imaginative, and willing to look at new possibilities. If not, you have not yet met Isabel.

Isabel is fine, just as long as Simon is close and they can do things together. Then, Simon moves away and Isabel is left to deal with the fall-out after losing a best friend. At first, she deals with it all hatefully. When that happens, the parrot that is usually on her head finds another place to be. Isabel adjusts to her loss by assuring herself that she will be fine on her own. She has no need for friends. She has the parrot back on her head ...

" and ...
she had a system."

Her system has to do with sorting ... bears, hats, castles, monsters, the dark, ducks and a hula hoop, wolves, broken umbrellas, houses, etc ... Everything has a place, and everything is in that place. You get the picture. The parrot worries most about the wolves. In fact, Isabel is a tad worried herself. What if one of the wolves is too big for that box? Finding a huge box on the sidewalk might be just the ticket. Wait a minute! What (or who) is inside that box?

You will want to know, and so will the kids who share this book. They will also want to take a closer look at the wonderful illustrations that accompany this child-centered, unique tale. Bold colors, witty endpaper images, impressive characters, and a totally engaging look at Isabel's world will make it a story time favorite and invite conversations concerning friendship, fears and being independent.


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