Written and Illustrated by: M. Anu Narasimhan
Publisher: Mascot Books
Publication Date: February 2015
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: February 2015
It was a beautiful day in the forest. All the animals were playing and enjoying the sunshine, even the little parrot. Every day they’d play, and every day they had lots and lots of fun. But there was something that bothered the parrot – he was little. His friends the elephant, the deer and even the rabbit didn’t seem to notice, but still, the parrot often thought about his small size. He wanted to be big like his friends. Soon, however, the parrot would learn that one’s value is not measured by size but by heart, and love for friends.
One day, while the parrot is up high in a tree, getting ready to fly down to meet his friends, he spots danger. Off in the distance he sees the trees of the forest on fire! Immediately, the parrot takes flight to get away from the fire, but then he remembers his friends. They don’t have wings, only feet. How can they get away from the fire?
Our little feathered friend, determined to help his friends, flies to their aid. He tries to lift the elephant, but no matter how briskly his wings flutter, he simply can’t lift his elephant friend. In desperation, the parrot flies to a nearby stream to gather water in his wings and dump it on the flames. Back and forth he goes, but his attempts to squash the fire with what little water he can carry, do nothing to calm the flames.
Devtas (pronounced dayv-tuhs), divine spirits who roam the earth, see what the parrot is doing and laugh at his efforts. Undaunted, the parrot continues to try and put out the fire.
“Laugh if you must but these are friends of mine
I will not stop until the fire I put out
I have work to do! This talking I can do without!”
All the Devtas but one continue to laugh. The one who doesn't laugh sees how the parrot is trying to save his friends and is touched by the bird's love. Would this spirit somehow help save the little parrot’s friends?
The Little Parrot is a re-telling of a tale that the author’s grandmothers used to tell her, inspired by their South Asian heritage. Narrated in rhyme, it flows well and really meshes nicely with the simple but quite bright and pleasing artwork. For those with young ones who frighten easily, don’t fear – there is nothing scary in The Little Parrot. The Devtas smile, laugh and, in the case of the one who takes pity on the parrot, help out. This is the type of story that puts a smile on your face as you read the last page and will stay with you long after closing the book.
Quill says: A delightful story for young and old about the selfless acts of one little bird.
For more information on The Little Parrot and the Angel's Tears, please visit the author's website at: www.booksbyanu.com