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Harry's Mad Paperback – July 22, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harry's parents and friends think he's mad, because he acts out the rich fantasies of his 10-year-old imagination. And when his eccentric American uncle dies and leaves Harry a parrot named Madison (Mad), they're convinced of it. Mad is no ordinary parroting parrot; he's a linguist, a crossword-puzzle ace, a chess champ and a gourmet. The cozy English family agrees to keep Mad's extraordinary talents secretuntil a burglar kidnaps the bird. It seems as if Harry's Mad has been lost forever, but happily all ends well. Once again, King-Smith ( Babe: The Gallant Pig, Pigs Might Fly, etc.) has devised a believable, satisfying animal fantasy, with memorable characterizations and playful humor. Bennett provides lively, charming pen-and-ink drawings that are perfectly in keeping with the story; this is a sprightly read-aloud and a treat for the author's considerable following. Ages 812.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5 Don't be confused by the title. Harry isn't angry, he's delighted, and so are we, to find that the African Gray parrot he's inherited from his eccentric American uncle has an extensive vocabulary and the independent intelligence to use it. The parrot Madison (Mad for short) is as likable and unique as King-Smith's other recent animal hero, Babe: the Gallant Pig (Crown, 1985). For a while, Harry and Mad keep the secret between them, and the animal/child conspiracy is as delightful as that of Ralph and Keith in Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Morrow, 1965). The secret is too good to keep, however, and Mad is soon delighting Harry's mother with his fastidious personal habits and his gourmet recipes and helping Harry's Dad with the crossword puzzles. When evil strikes in the form of a parrot-napping burglar, the agony of both boy and bird is palpable. This book will be fun as a read-aloud as well as a read-alone, and should prove popular. Sally T. Margolis, Town & Country Day School, Kensington, Md.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (July 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679886885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679886884
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on March 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I chose this book because in the past I read another book by the same author. This book takes place in Paris, France. There are four main characters. The characters are Mom, Dad, Madison, the African Gray Parrot. I like Madison the most because he can talk and play more games than the average parrot, and because madison is the center of the whole story. The story begins when Harry inherits an African Gray Parrot, named Madison, from his Great Uncle George. harry spends much time with the parrot, and becomes attached to him. One day, when no one was home, a burglar breaks in and steals Madison. While Madison is at the robber's house alone, he calls the police. The policeman could not believe what madison told him because Madison's stoy was unbelievable. Madison had even told the police man that he was 9 inches tall. Later in the story Madison manages to pry a hole in the chimney and get away. Going up the chimney he got covered in suit and could not fly. Then you should read the book to see what happens next. I thoght this was a great story. i would reccomend this book to you to read
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A Kid's Review on April 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Did you know that a parrot that can talk??
The main character is Harry is a British boy who has brown hair and likes to eat American brownies. Madison the parrot is his favorite pet. He is very active, imaginative, and likes to daydream a lot.
Madison is a main character too. He is an intelligent African Gray male parrot, raised up in America. Madison enjoys eating food taken by people. He not only mimics with human voice, he speaks with an American accent and is also able to use telephone. Madison favorite game is monopoly.
The setting of this bock is from London. When Harry received Mad (short form for Madison) from Great Uncle George's will, he thought he is just an ordinary bird. When Harry came to know that it could talk, He kept it a secret from his parents. Very often, Harry would go into fits of giggles, falling about clutching his stomach and howling with laughter. Both his parents thought sometimes that. Harry is very mad.
After a few weeks, Harry revealed his secret to his parents. From then on, it seemed to the whole family that they had never been a time without Madison even the cat and the dog thought so too. Madison is also a walking dictionary because he helps Mr. Holdworth to think about the puzzle sheet and amazingly, he eats together with the family-using spoon. He knows how to cook by giving Harry's mother some recipes, teaches Harry in his English homework, plays chess and even monopoly with the family.
One day, while Mrs. Holdswoth went shopping, Harry in school and his father is in work, a burglar broke into the house and took Madison away. Will our hero find his way back home or will he die or been sold to a faraway parrot shop?
I will recommend this book because without a talkative parrot is very boring.
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A Kid's Review on April 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book I am going to talk about is called Harry's Mad. It is an adventurous book. There are two main characters. The first character is Harry he is a blonde hair boy and he has black eyes. He is ten years old and has no brothers or sisters. He lives with his parents. The second character is an African parrot with gray and black eyes and has a dark gray beak.
They live in a famous city called London. The story takes place in November. Harry got a parrot from his uncle who passed away and whom he never met. Harry went out with his mom and a robber break in. The robber robs Mad and Harry couldn't find Mad. The parrot flew away from the robber. At last Harry and Mad meet again.
I recommend you read this book because it is incredibly, exciting, and interesting.
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Format: Paperback
Among the numerous books that Dick King-Smith wrote, I've noted that his farm-based stories with animal protagonists tend to be stronger books where he is in his element. Hence I've thought more fondly of The Fox Busters, Saddlebottom and even Babe the Sheep-Pig. Harry's Mad is different from these animal stories but still shows King-Smith at his sparkling best.

This story makes you laugh and think at the same time. I like how King-Smith alludes to the story of Puss in Boots. When Harry first learns that he is to inherit his American great-uncle's parrot he is not thrilled, very like how the miller's youngest son is not thrilled that his father only left him the cat. However, Mad the parrot surprises everyone, brightening up his life and also the lives of his parents. As such he forms a deep friendship with Harry. Trouble strikes when he is birdnapped by a burglar, but of course he finds his way home after some hair-raising adventures. Harry is an important protagonist, but Mad is the star of the story. His character is a combination of Puss in Boots and Passepartout and his antics make us laugh.

King-Smith tells the story with freshness, humour, verve and wit. There are various touches of wry humour, such as in the first part where the word mad is used to imply crazy until the coming of Mad the parrot. I am also fond of the incident where Mad imitates Humphrey Bogart when the cat tries to eat him. I am also fond of the way King-Smith matches his emotions. The reader sympathises and commiserates with Harry after the burglar birdnaps Mad. However emotions heat up when Harry receives Mad's phone call and goes out to rescue him.

This is a funny Dick King-Smith story and it is worthy of his best efforts. It will appeal greatly to those who love Babe the Sheep Pig.
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