Harry’s Mad

Our rating: ***½

Harry, an English boy, inherits a pet parrot from his American great-uncle. He quickly discovers that Madison (Mad for short) the parrot has been taught to carry on conversations by his great-uncle, who was a linguistic professor. Mad soon becomes one of the family, but when he gets kidnapped by a burglar, Mad must find a way to get back home.

This is your basic talking-animal-gets-kidnapped-and-has-to-return-home book, but it has two things going for it to set it apart. First, Dick King-Smith is a master of animal books and British humor (or should I say humour?), so Harry’s Mad is just plain fun in that regard. Second, the storyline of an American parrot being adopted by a British family has all sorts of fun with the differences between the two cultures. So while you won’t find anything too profound here, Harry’s Mad should do the trick of delighting young and old alike.

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