THE TALKING PARCEL by Gerald Durrell


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The donnish Parrot leads three children into the literary magic kingdom of Mythologia where the belligerent cockatrices have gotten out of hand and are threatening to take over. Preparations for the big assault on Cockatrice Castle mostly involve visiting the residents of Mythologia to enlist their support. The first recruit is Ethelred, a Cockney turncoat toad; and later assistance comes from a herd of mooncalves (who secrete a jellylike substance that can be imagined into any object you please), Germanic Griffons, an effete, limp-wristed weasel, a school of adipose mermaids and a pipsqueak firedrake. It's terribly clever really, though the humor mostly turns on the animals' facility for mimicking foreign accents. The enterprise will be best suited to youngsters adept enough to sail right through the verbal games and vocabulary stretching chit-chat and enjoy this for the whimsical, if contrived, lark that it is.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1975
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Lippincott