Harold is an amazing mimic, and can imitate the sound of everything in his home. Tired of repeating the same old noises, he yearns to find out what other voices there are in the big, wide world. But what happens when he suddenly realises that he doesn’t yet have a voice of his own? This fantastic debut by author/illustrator Courtney Dicmas recounts Harold’s hilarious tale. It’s full of colour, humour and ...
Harold is an amazing mimic, and can imitate the sound of everything in his home. Tired of repeating the same old noises, he yearns to find out what other voices there are in the big, wide world. But what happens when he suddenly realises that he doesn’t yet have a voice of his own?
This fantastic debut by author/illustrator Courtney Dicmas recounts Harold’s hilarious tale. It’s full of colour, humour and invention, and children will love to join in with Harold as he mimics everyday noises.
“Harold was a gifted bird,” writes Dicmas about the flashy red parrot that stars in her debut children’s book. “He could hear any sound just once and copy it perfectly.” In the Parisian apartment Harold occupies with his owner, that means mimicking the “burble burble burble burble” of the percolator, the “gooooaal!” of a TV sportscaster, and the “whooosh whooosh whooosh” of the washing machine. Harold wants more, though, so one morning he ventures into the city, where he discovers an array of unfamiliar noises, some new avian friends, and—most importantly—a sound that’s all his own. Dicmas gives Harold plenty of spotlight-hogging star power, whether he’s waggling his eyebrows at readers, closing his eyes in contentment as he takes in a bass violin solo, or flashing his plumage, which is painted in thick smudges of green, blue, yellow, and scarlet. The sense of setting is on the light side—in a particularly nice scene, Harold stares at the Eiffel Tower from a quiet, lavender room in his apartment—but Dicmas’s airy visuals keep the story and its message buoyant. Ages 3–8. (July)
- Marilyn Courtot
Harold the parrot is not the only one to long for his own voice. Harold is Parisian parrot. By that I mean he lives in the beautiful city in apartment 4B. What makes him so special is that he can imitate just about every sound ranging from the alarm clock to the toaster, and to all the lovely sounds that water makes in the toilet, washing machine and shower. With such a talent one could be content, but Harold wanted more, so one day he flew out the window into the big city and a cacophony of sounds reached his ears. It was beautiful, because everything in the world had its own voice...that is, everyone but Harold. But hold on, he was not one to give up, pulling himself up, he let out a really loud squawk. He was embarrassed; could he have made that awful sound? Then his world changed as other parrots flocked to see who had such a great voice. With great pride Harold spent his time sharing all the sounds that he could make and soon invited all his new friends back home to the amusement of his mistress. Harold had found his voice and with it great happiness. This debut book by Courtney Dicmas shows great promise. The story is a delight and so are the illustrations. Don't miss the book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8vztnpCGcg Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A talented, colorful parrot mimics the sounds around his apartment. From the ring of the alarm clock to the whoosh of the washing machine, he soon grows tired of repeating the same noises and wonders what his own voice sounds like. One morning, he flies out of the window and into the vast world, where he discovers enchanting tones deep in the heart of the Paris metropolis. They range in size from the deep rumbles of a ship to melancholy notes of a cello. Readers will rejoice when Harold finally finds his voice ("Rawk!") and gains flocks of new friends, along with a new self-awareness and confidence. In the end, he still enjoys partaking in his apartment's din, but his own squawk makes him the happiest of all. Dicmas's debut has beautiful, bright, and vivid childlike illustrations. Scenes of the city streets and skylines are scattered throughout, while Harold's owner-a little girl in a striped sweater-blends vaguely into the surroundings. Storytellers will enjoy acting out the noises and children will giggle at Harold's kooky expressions and poses. Perfect for storytimes.—Krista Welz, The North Bergen Public Library, NJ
Harold, a plucky parrot living in Paris, loves to imitate every sound that he hears--but can he find a voice of his own? In apartment 4B, Harold can "flussshh" like the toilet, "vrrrrrrmmm" like the vacuum and even "bweeeee" like the blender. But surely the city has even better sounds. He slips out an open window and can't believe his ears. In an onomatopoetic adventure, he meets the big voice of an ocean liner ("OOOOOOOH!"), the tiny voice of a snail ("shlurrp!") and everything in between. But as beautiful as all of these sounds are, Harold grows tired of imitation. He longs to find his own voice. He takes a deep breath, opens his beak as wide as he can…and lets out a screeching "RAWK!" How embarrassing. But that unsightly sound just may bring him a flock of new friends. Debut author/illustrator Dicmas shares a worthy tale, but her use of bright colors and bold brushstrokes are what make Harold really soar. With cocked head, wide eyes and feet that hardly ever touch the ground, this parrot is irrepressibly charming. Children will relate to Harold's struggle of growth and self-acceptance, but as a read-aloud, the sound effects will gleefully trump all. (Picture book. 3-6)