I NEED a Parrot
Ford Street, 2020
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Like so many little people, this little boy decides he needs a pet. Not just any pet – he needs a parrot in particular. But while he feels ne needs a parrot, and is prepared to take care of it, what does the parrot need?
Apart from the enduring argument about whether birds of any kind should be kept in cages, the story opens up discussions about wants versus needs and whether the two concepts are interchangeable.
McKimmie has a unique artistic style that makes his illustrations very childlike in appearance and this really speaks to his audience underlining the message in his text. Not only does he use the first person to talk to his audience but the words are backed up with images that look like they have been drawn by the narrator offering a double-whammy to pay attention. Starting the book with the image of a cage and ending it with a big blue sky is a powerful mechanism that will remain imprinted in the child’s mind, another technique that reinforces the message. There are many layers to this book that, on the surface, seems quite simple – a case of how less can indeed be more.
This book won the 2020 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award , a worthy winner if the criteria is a story’s ability to open the minds of readers and challenge or change their thinking.
Teachers’ notes are available, and if it is sold out in your bookstore, contact the publisher.