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)