Skip to main content

The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head

Daisy Hirst, Daisy Hirst (Illustrator)


List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From a remarkable new talent comes an honest and endearing story about losing a best friend, daring to make a new one, and the power of imagination.

Isabel has a best friend named Simon, who is very good with newts. But one day Simon moves away in a truck and never comes back. For a while Isabel hates everything and decides it’s better to be by herself. After all, she has a parrot who likes to sit on her head, and she has a system, sorting all the things in her room into boxes. But now she faces a new problem: the parrot worries about the box that is full of wolves, and Isabel secretly worries too. Can Chester, a boy who has a way with umbrellas and sticky tape, help? With simple illustrations full of touching, kid-friendly details, Daisy Hirst’s debut picture book is sure to make many new friends.

Praise For The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head

Hirst’s original debut walks a wonderful line between fanciful and realistic, with loose, buoyant art and an offbeat story that finds a child’s innermost truth.
—New York Times Book Review

Hirst's debut is deliciously elliptical and totally child-centered—Isabel may have a parrot, but she does not appear to have any parents. Her declarative text gets inside the head of her imaginative protagonist, respecting her turbulent feelings of loss and her trepidation at making a new friend. A salutary reminder that however devastating a loss may be, new connections are worth the risk.
—Kirkus Reviews

A limited palette of primarily reds and blues set against copious white space allows readers to focus on Isabel’s emotional journey, and seamlessly blends her imaginary life with the real world. This gentle story of navigating change has surprising layers of complexity and is sure to spark discussion in classrooms and public library programs.
—School Library Journal

British debut author-illustrator Daisy Hirst's simple, extra-charming artwork almost looks Sharpie-drawn (perfect for box labeling!), and her screenprinting technique adds rich color and texture to her bold compositions. A splendidly odd tribute to wild imaginations and friendships lost and found.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers

Hirst’s charming debut playfully captures Isabel’s creative, slightly absurd solution to loss and loneliness. Hirst surrounds her imaginative prose with a playful array of childlike, naive figures that almost look like kid-scrawled magic marker drawings in a mixture of bright and muted hues. A perfect one-on-one or group read.
—Booklist Online

In shades of powder- and midnight-blue, cardboard brown, and scarlet, the cozy and artful screenprinted illustrations are reminiscent of messing around with felt-tip markers. This is a fresh and sparky take on the power of play.
—Horn Book

Candlewick, 9780763678296, 40pp.

Publication Date: April 26, 2016

About the Author

Daisy Hirst studied English and writing at Warwick University in England and received an MA in children’s-book illustration from the Cambridge School of Art. The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head is her first book. She lives in London.