The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head by Daisy Hirst

The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head

Written by Daisy Hirst

5+ readers   Debuts of the Month   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

February 2015 Debut of the Month Inventive and witty, this is a story that is full of ideas and imagining rather than neatly tying up loose ends. Told more through the pictures than the words, the story of Isabel’s happiness as she plays with her friend Simon and her great unhappiness and sense of isolation when he moves away is movingly unfolded with very little explanation. This allows children to grieve with Isabel at her loss, to face up to her fears as they come crowding in and to enjoy her new friendship with her when it comes along. ~ Julia Eccleshare

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Isabel has a parrot who likes to sit on her head. She also has a friend called Simon. One day, Simon moves away, leaving Isabel feeling lost and lonely. That is until Chester comes… This is a delightful and unusual picture book about friendship. It is beautifully designed, and has quirky and bold illustrations drawn in an enchanting retro style. The cleverly pared-down text completely captures the range of emotions experienced by a lonely child. It is not only a sensitive and engaging picture book but also a very enjoyable story. (Ages 3–6)
~ Andrea Rayner


The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head by Daisy Hirst

A poetic and original picture book about the value of friendship from a remarkable new author. A beautifully bold and fresh new picture book, this hopeful and endearing story about moving house, making new friends and playing imaginative games is told with simple wit and charm, and offers a touching exploration of feelings.

When she moves house, Isabel loses her best friend for ever. She is angry and lonely and decides it's better to be by herself. But after a time she faces a new problem that leads her to make a brilliant new friend...


Hirst's beguilingly child-like illustrations give the story an affecting authenticity. -- The Herald * The Herald * Like the best books by authors such as John Burningham, it presents the reader with a story that works on different levels. A picture book that really does stand out. Daisy Hirst is a picture book creator to watch. -- Kate Kellaway * The Observer * The Girl with the Parrot on her Head is a hopeful and endearing story about moving house, making new friends and playing imaginative games. -- Parent Talk * Parent Talk * It is not only a sensitive and engaging picture book but also a very enjoyable story. -- The Good Book Guide * The Good Book Guide * It is not only a sensitive and engaging picture book but also a very enjoyable story. -- The Good Book Guide * The Good Book Guide * I could tell straightaway that this was a winner. Both kids - who are starting to age out of picture books and into chapter books - were totally taken with it, thanks in no small part to the enormous energy, movement and narrative drive from the deceptively simple artwork. -- Boing Boing * Boing Boing * Struggling to cope with her loneliness, more and more of the page is given over to the monochrome jaggedy lines, before colour seeps back in as she finds a new playmate. It might sound like a simple idea, but it's executed beautifully to show us just how lovely the world can be when we have friends to play with. As a jaded adult this might sound unimportant, but to young readers, The Girl With The Parrot On Her Head captures one of the most important aspects of childhood- making (and keeping) good friends. * Milo and Alice blog * This is a true picture book in that the pictures tell the story. The words are there to guide the reader through, but the author has wisely used them sparingly, though just enough. Wonderful, heartwarming, and wise. * Carousel * Daisy Hirst has produced a touching depiction of the confusing bewilderment caused when a relationship is lost during childhood [...] I suspect that there are many subtleties yet to be discovered on each page. * The School Librarian * This is a wonderful book explaining and helping children to understand the changes they go through as children such as moving house and losing and making new friends illustrating how they will cope with their losses. It's beautifully written in a subtle style and a must read for children over 5 years. * Toppsta Review *

About the Author

Daisy Hirst

Daisy Hirst studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art before becoming an author and illustrator. She won the Lara Jones award in the Macmillan Prize for The Runaway Baby and her debut picture book, The Girl With the Parrott on Her Head, was selected as The Times' children's book of the week. Her second book, Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do!, has been translated into nine different languages worldwide. Daisy lives Worcester.

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Book Info


40 pages


Daisy Hirst
More books by Daisy Hirst

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th February 2015




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