I Need a Parrot

Ford Street Publishing
ISBN: 9781925804287
The Picture Book of the Year 2020 Notable
Chris McKimmie’s style is unmistakably his own. This book rewards several readings and affirms the complementarity of the author being the illustrator. McKimmie is a very assured illustrator who is both skilled and witty in execution. McKimmie’s bizarre and humorous print text is well suited to the insightful illustrations showing the problems of our desire to keep and cage pets. With very few words and deceptively simple drawings, this book gives readers lots to ponder and discuss. Vivid colours, first-person narrative and various media combine to communicate the understated final message. Child-like and sophisticated at the same time, the story opens with an opening cage to set the tone. The blank double-page spread with the ‘aha’ moment, which simply says 'Oh.', is genius. To then turn to another double-page spread of just the sky with the bird flying is amazing. It further creates a beautiful resolution to the story. This book exploits economy in its exemplification of 'less is more'—so much more!