Tillie's parrot Max speaks in rhymes. He is usually good-natured and courteous, but when he takes offense at Tillie's friend Mrs. Goosebump he begins insulting her in verse. This gets him in trouble with the two friends, but it also leads to his stopping a thief from robbing Tillie's apartment. The story's idea is cute and could provide a useful springboard for parents to discuss ``bad'' language with their children. But the book's execution is only fair. The rhymes are not especially clever and the text, though lively, rarely sparkles. Zaunders's expressive, quirky illustrations enhance the book, but the overall effect falls short of the mark. (59)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Max the parrot talks in rhyme to Tillie, his owner, and their upstairs neighbor and friend, Mrs. Goosebump. Max is thought to be a considerate and clever bird until one day when he thinks he hears Mrs. Goosebump call him an ``ugly bird.'' After this his rhymes become unmannerly and insulting. His rhyming ability does help rescue his and Tillie's belongings from a burglar, the misunderstanding is explained, and Max again becomes a clever, polite and ``snugly'' (not ugly) bird. The brief text flows along smoothly for reading aloud or for independent reading. Zaunder's watercolors on white backgrounds have the cartoon and lightly humorous quality of Quentin Blake's drawings. A successful if not outstanding picture book. Rita S. Padden, Lassen County Library, Susanville, Calif.