cover image Little Wild Parrot

Little Wild Parrot

Tony Johnston. Tambourine Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13456-3

A little wild parrot appears one day before a beaming blonde girl and squawks a ``little wild word (`Hello!'),'' then sings a ``little wild song.'' The child, in turn, feeds him ``little wild seeds'' and offers him some of her ``little plump plum.'' And so begins this friendly if insubstantial story. Johnston (Amber on the Mountain) brings to it her colorful use of language: ``Down dropped the sun/ Up rose the moon/ cold as the bowl/ of a silver spoon.'' Eitan's (Inch by Inch) vibrant, print-like illustrations, rendered in overlaying primary colors, suffuse the pages with charm and freshness. But despite this verve, the story is weighed down by uneven pacing. For example, the narrative is interrupted midway so parrot can tell his own unrelated, insignificant story. The wordplay and cheery art aside, preschoolers are likely to find this a ``little'' story indeed. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)