Torro, the Silly Parrot

Virginia Loving Pope, illustrated by Terri Kelleher

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 24 Price: (paperback) $17.99 ISBN: 9781496959881 Reviewed: January, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

A fun-loving parrot enjoys life with his owner in Virginia Loving Pope’s picture book Torro, the Silly Parrot.

Purchased in a “faraway place” by a young woman, Torro the parrot is brought to the U.S. He enjoys imitating the sounds that humans make and also likes to ride vacuum cleaners, play with toys, and snuggle with his owner in bed. Then, when Torro’s owner allows him to play in the trees in her backyard, two boys assume he’s lost and take him home. The situation is soon resolved, however, resulting in a happy ending for all.

The story is written from Torro’s perspective, and the text occasionally switches to all-capital letters for emphasis: “I HAD FUN THERE!!” about an animal hospital, or “MY LIFE HAD BEGUN!!” when he first tastes freedom from a cage. The book mostly tells of Torro’s pleasures (going to a baseball game, taking showers, etc.), but when he’s taken from his backyard, he panics: “MY WONDERFUL LIFE IS OVER!!” The situation is resolved on the very next page—which keeps the tension to a minimum.

The writing is appropriate for the target audience, and the first-person viewpoint will keep children engaged. Torro’s all-caps comments are mostly past tense, like the rest of his narration, except for a few distracting present-tense inconsistencies (“I AM SO HAPPY!!”). At times, Torro doesn’t adequately explain what’s happening, as when the bird recounts playing with the latch of a shutter on his home, when he “fell out of the window and landed on the roof of the house across the street.”

The art is warm and colorful, with delightful details like the variety of Torro’s toys. As with the writing, though, there are some flaws, like the oddly compressed view of spectator at a baseball field, which might throw some children off.

Despite such imperfections, this is largely a vibrant book that should appeal to young audiences.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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