Patricia Brennan Demuth


Max the Bad-Talking Parrot

“For sheer fun, there’s Max, the Bad-Talking Parrot.” — Mensa Bulletin


of the Georgia Children’s Storybook Award

Children’s Choices for 1987

sponsored by International Reading Association and Children’s Book Council

p18 logo GA Award Internation Reading Association

School Kids Act Out Max

Kids acting out Max

Behind The Scenes

Parrot taking off my glasses

My cousin’s parrot liked to fool around—just like Max. Here he is removing my glasses!

Ryan Brennan enjoying Max

Ryan Brennan enjoying Max


Children’s Choices: Tillie’s good-natured rhyming parrot turns sour when he thinks he’s been insulted, but he regains his perch when a burglar threatens. Children’s comments made clear their appreciation of the delightful drawings and the “funny talking” parrot.

The Reading Teacher, October 1987, p. 43

The brief text flows along smoothly for reading aloud or for independent reading. Zaunder’s watercolors on white backgrounds have the cartoon and lightly humorous quality of Quentin Blake’s drawings. A successful if not outstanding picture book.

School Library Journal

Patricia Brennan Demuth has skillfully used rhymes to tell a very humorous story. Max, the Bad-Talking Parrot (Dodd Mead) is fast-paced and entertaining. The colorful and amusing illustrations by Bo Zaunders complement the story, written for children between the ages of 5 and 9. It could easily become a children’s favorite.

Akron Beacon Journal, 6/22/86

Best Books for Kids A Roundup of Books to Delight Young Readers and Readers-To-Be” by Sylvia Barsotti

Tillie’s parrot is like no other—he talks in rhymes! One day, Max’s sweet talk suddenly turns nasty and everyone’s aghast.

Family Circle, 7/8/86

For sheer fun, there’s Max, the Bad-Talking Parrot, by Patricia Brennan Demuth, illustrated by Bo Zaunders (Dodd, Mead), who talks in rhymes, suddenly begins to talk bad, but reforms in the nick of time.

Mensa Bulletin
“Books in Brief: Better Than Candy” by Margot Seitelman

SPRING’S FUNNIEST BOOK: The funniest book of the spring has to be Max, the Bad-Talking Parrot by Patricia Brennan Demuth. It’s a story about Max, a thin-skinned parrot who talks in rhymes:
“I like nuts because they crunch. Crunch a bunch you have a lunch.”

Providence Journal-Bulletin, May 26, 1986

The story’s idea is cute and could provide a useful springboard for parents to discuss “bad” language with their children. . . . Zaunders’s expressive, quirky illustrations enhance the book.

Publishers Weekly, 1986

Max, a parrot who talks in couplets, has a good thing going: comfortable teatimes with his owner, Tillie, and her friend Mrs. Goosebump, who works nights in a tollbooth. This cozy atmosphere is shattered when Max thinks he overhears Mrs. Goosebump say he’s ugly. Suddenly his rhyming couplets change in tone:
“It’s nine o’clock, I suppose
Mrs. Goosebump, go blow your nose.”

Max, the Bad-Talking Parrot presents teachers and parents with a good opportunity to discuss with children the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in meaning conveyed through word choice. Mini-dramas could be performed to illustrate some situations in which dramas would be a good focus for further discussion.

Perspectives, Picture Story Books, Toledo, Ohio

Tillie has a very special parrot—Max talks in riddles. When Mrs. Goosebump comes to visit each morning, she is greeted by Max:
Won’t you let me take your hat?
Stay awhile and have a chat.”

Suddenly one day, Max starts to talk badly. What has happened to him? Why has he changed? When burglars break into Tillie’s apartment, they take everything—including Max. but Max’s talking in rhymes saves the day.

A humorous and adventurous story that will surely please young readers.

Catholic Library World

Demuth’s story is a delight and will surely entertain young readers. Max’s sharp tongue and devilishly quick wit are funny indeed. Zaunders’ illustrations are colorful and humorous.

The Pasadena Citizen. Houston, Texas. 9/30/86