Published by Doodles & Scribbles, 2017.
Parrots Don’t Live in the City! is a brilliant picture book that my son and I have really enjoyed reading together. Jack and Emily are at the park. Jack spots a parrot. Emily doesn’t believe him and, despite his protestations, she repeatedly asserts that parrots don’t live in the city. After a while, Jack begins to doubt himself and concludes that he must have imagined things. Then his kite gets tangled up in a tree, disturbing the inhabitants…
The book is such fun to read aloud. It has a bouncy rhythm, lovely rhymes and scope for expressive speech intonation. The language and imagery are wonderfully rich and make the book even more enjoyable to share:
“… a small amber eye like a jewel peeped out.”
I particularly liked the look of the book. There’s a mixture of traditional picture book illustrations and stylised images. These stylised illustrations, with their repeating leaf or floral patterns, have the feel of sumptuous William Morris prints. This attention to design spills over into the book’s layout. The story text is set out imaginatively; it’s vertical on the bars of a cage at the zoo, and arced inside a rainbow.
The book has an added hide and seek element; on the inside front cover there’s a list of ten garden- and park-dwelling insects to spot hidden in the pages of the book. This activity adds a fun extra layer to re-readings. There’s also a section at the back of the book called ‘Parroty Fun’. Here children can discover lots of interesting facts about parrots and parakeets.
Parrots Don’t Live in the City! is a fantastic picture book début. We can’t wait to read Lucy and Jenna’s second book, Hedgehogs Don’t Live in the City! – just perfect for autumn.
Suitable for children aged 2+
Thank you to Doodles & Scribbles for sending me this book to review.