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Ebook Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140314
  • 40 pages
  • $7.99
Hardcover Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140307
  • 40 pages
  • $15.99
Paperback Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140321
  • 40 pages
  • $8.99
Allison Sojka
Author, Illustrator
Picnic for Parrots
Allison Sojka, author, illustrator, designer

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

During a jungle picnic with friends, shy parrot Red worries a favorite sweet will not be tasted before they’re all gone, but then an idea comes to mind. A delightful story of friendship, kindness, and discovering the value of knowing when to ask for help.
In Sojka’s playful storybook, a colorful group of parrots has gathered in the jungle for a picnic. Each bird has brought a dish to share, but Red, the picnic’s host, only wants to eat pineapple cupcakes with kiwi cream icing. Unfortunately, Red is too shy to get up and snag his own treat, so he asks his friend Blue for help. In the middle of her own meal, Blue misunderstands Red, thinking he wants a pineapple cupcake with jellybean icing. When Blue can’t find this type of cake, she whispers to another parrot for assistance, leading to a cute and silly version of the popular children’s game, Telephone.

Children will find some of the parrots’ snacks amusingly gross–cherry breads with roaches, for instance, as well as cantaloupe pudding and cricket cookies. Young kids will also laugh as the birds repeatedly misinterpret each other, as by the time the message reaches the yellow parrot it has gotten garbled into “lime bowl cupcakes topped with chilies and beans.” There’s a good chance this goofy tale will spur a real-life round of Telephone with family or friends, making it an appealing choice for keeping youngsters entertained on long, lazy afternoons. The rhymes are a bit forced or awkward at times (eat/sweets, icing/green), but preschoolers are unlikely to notice.

Sojka’s simple, cheery illustrations rely on simple shapes and do not incorporate much detail or depth. Young children will easily recognize the parrots and their food, but the images are presented without context, with each page utilizing the same vaguely leafy, dark green background. Although parents will appreciate the story’s message about friendship, what matters most is this tale’s sense of fun and whimsy, which will inspire the kids to play their own games and make them want to read the book more than once.

Takeaway: This whimsical storybook about a colorful group of parrots having a picnic offers a playful take on a favorite children’s game.

Great for fans of: Mac Barnett's Telephone, Courtney Dicmas's Harold Finds a Voice.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B-
Illustrations: B+
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: B-

Alan Ferguson - on Amazon

*5 stars - My kids loved this book!

The kids loved this book. The parrots are cute and silly, the rhymes make it a fun read. Predicting many more great children’s books from this author.

Alexis Stearns - on Amazon:

*5 stars - Cute and funny! Kids love it!

So great! My kids (6&2) loved the rhymes and laughed so much at this cute story!

Alissa A. Apel - on Amazon

*4 stars - Fun Foods and Colors

I enjoy that colors are talked about in the story a lot. So much of me feels that colors are learned from reading and watching simple shows. Have you ever noticed that there's just about every color used in the puppets on Sesame Street, the same goes for the trains on Thomas? Colors are drilled in young readers. Once children grasp their colors, they start to associate them with letters and words.There's a lot of play with fun foods and drinks. Like Beetle Spotted Doughnuts, Pomegranate Pie, Cinnamon Sprinkled Water, Pineapple Cupcakes with Kiwi Cream Icing, Coconut Croissants, and the list goes on. Even I wanted to try some of those treats.I think it would be fun to have a recipe for one of those yummy treats at the end. I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the background throughout the book. Otherwise a great read for any young kiddo!

Amanda Gehrke - on Goodreads

*5 stars - At first glance, I noticed the awesome illustrations: animals and imaginative treats in vivid colors leaping off the pages. I can’t get over how bright and beautifully cheerful the illustrations are! But once you dig into it, this sweet and imaginative story is as fun to look at as it is fun to read with little ones. The rhythmic plot conveys a vital message to children about kindness and self-advocacy. I love that the mixup that helps drive the story forward is a nostalgic, true to life game of telephone gone wrong and that ultimately the main character, Red, has some great friends who really come through for him in the end. Overall this book makes a wonderful addition to our at home collection, and I’m definitely ordering a second one to have in my classroom!

Amazon Customer - on Amazon

*5 stars - I really enjoyed this book!

I really enjoyed reading this book to my Preschool class. I loved the pictures and the flow of the story. My students really enjoyed it also.

Amazon Customer - on Amazon

*5 stars - Bright, simple fun!

The colors in this book are really fun, and so is the story! It does a great job of enjoyably recreating the "telephone" game, which is always a great lesson for kids, and it also shows how good friendships work - even though the other characters can't help Red get the treat they think he wants, none of them get annoyed and all are willing to help. I also really appreciated all the different foods. Some of them sounded really tasty, and some of them sounded like they'd be really tasty for parrots! We enjoyed describing to each other what we thought all the foods would taste like.

Ang - on Amazon:

*5 stars - Fun colors and descriptions!

My 7 year old loved all of the fun and interesting foods in the book and the pictures that went along with them. There were alot of words she knew but a few that challenged her to sound out and learn some new words. We had fun reading it together!

C. Olson - on Amazon:

*5 stars - Sweet story

This is a sweet story about friendship and sharing. When one friend is too shy to ask for what he wants, his friends work together to help. Beautiful illustrations!

Cathy Fitzhenry - on Amazon

*5 stars - Great book fun story

Fun new words and a story line introducing new words and fun foods. It would be fun to have a recipe at the end of the book those special cupcakes!

Cheryl S - on Amazon:

*5 stars - Love the colorful drawings!

It is a very sweet story and the pictures are so colorful. i believe it would be entertaining for any age child.

D. Carter - on Amazon

*5 stars - *Sweet* little kids book :)

Cute, colorful, fun book that also has a good message about asking your friends for help when you need it. I'm planning on ordering a couple for my nieces and nephews. They'll definitely love these brightly colored illustrations of friendly birds, and the rhyming/rhythmic lines about all their picnic treats :)

D. Sojka - on Amazon

*5 stars - A lovely little picnic of a read. O_o

Even as an adult I had a good time reading this fun little story of jumbled words and a little misunderstanding. Luckily, friends are there to help sort things out! The colors are nice and bright for the birds and desserts, which are presented with clever rhyming and word play. Definitely a fun book to get young ones engaged in reading! Might have to try of some those recipes myself...

Elizabeth A - on Goodreads

*5 stars - This is a really cute story about friendship, self advocacy, and a classic game of telephone. It’s beautiful and vivid illustrations will have you craving a fruity cupcake.

Gail - on Goodreads

*5 Stars - As a parent, grandparent, former teacher and school librarian, I am always looking for great read aloud books and this book does not disappoint! I especially enjoy a book that includes a good message. This book addresses the issues shyness can cause, as well as miscommunication between the birds similar to the telephone game and friends trying to be helpful to each other.. I can see where this could lead to some great discussions with children. I loved the rhythm and rhyme in this humorous selection and the creative vocabulary used especially in the names of the picnic foods. Children should pick up expanded word use by reading and listening to this book. The illustrations did a fine job of conveying the birds’ feelings throughout the story.

Gene M - on Amazon

*5 stars - A wonderful new children's book!

What a delight it is to find a children's book that has enough substance with a surprise twist, to engage a child as well as the adult reading to them. Early readers will also enjoy reading this book on their own. As an adult it is amusing to find that you have been pulled into a word game from earlier years, and a fun ride for a child who has never been along this verbal path before. The book's bright illustrations also help introduce its younger readers to a fun "between-the-lines" introduction to color theory. I definitely look forward to reading this book with my grandchildren.

Jessy S. - on Amazon

*5 stars - A creative and wonderful book!

Allison Sojka is a truly imaginative and educational author/illustrator. Both I and my preschool aged children thoroughly enjoyed this book and the beautiful illustrations. The characters are lovable and the illustrations are colorful and really jump off of the page. The story really grabbed my children’s attention and is very memorable. This would make an excellent gift for any child. Highly recommend!

justin inget - on Amazon

*5 stars - Fun to read

I enjoyed reading this to my 5 year old and can't wait to read it with my 7 year old. He will be able to understand more and discuss it with me. We love rhyming but this book has so much more to it!

Kim K Guyer - on Amazon

*4 stars - Creative and Vibrant

Picnic for Parrots is an imaginative story about a group of friends lunching together. When shy Red spies his favorite treat, he asks his neighbor to help pass it along, and a clever game of "telephone" begins. The creative food items paired with vibrant illustrations make this book a pleasure to both view and read. My only critique is that a few of the rhymes are a bit ungainly, but that is minor in the grand scheme of things.

Kirkus Indie Reviews

A cupcake-craving parrot plays a game of telephone to get a treat in this sweet picture-book debut about friendship and sharing a meal from author/illustrator Sojka.
Red is the quietest of a group of parrot friends as well as the host of a potluck picnic. When Red spies a favorite dessert, the parrot knows that unless action is taken, the "pineapple cupcakes with kiwi cream icing" will be eaten. Too shy to get one, Red asks Blue to help. Blue's only too happy to be of service but just can't find "pineapple cupcakes with jellybean icing." So Blue asks Green, who searches for "lime-apple cupcakes with jellied-green leaf rings." The message's bungling continues until the friends sheepishly admit they couldn't find Red's requested dessert--but would the pineapple cupcake with kiwi icing do? Sojka uses a deep green background, with hints of leafy detail, to contrast with the birds. Each parrot is uniquely colored and boldly outlined. Red's hunched posture indicates the bird's insecurity, which is only relieved in the final page. The rhyming couplets amusingly portray the parrots' squawking, and their outlandish treats, featuring beetles and crickets (as well as assorted sweets fit for human consumption), are a delight. —
With fun-to-read-aloud phrases and high-contrast illustrations, this tale of friends and food takes the cake.

Luandi Brand - on Goodreads

*5 stars - I really enjoyed the book. The illustrations are absolutely adorable and well done.

I'm a huge fan of books written in rhyming verse and the fact that this book falls in that category made me enjoy it so much more.

It tells a story of a shy parrot wanting something specific and asking for the help of a friend. Through this friend passing on the message, the request "changed" as it went from parrot to parrot. There is truth in this, because that's how stories normally goes. If you tell a story to someone and they retell it, they'll never tell it the same way you did. The details and even the way the story progress changes the more it gets retold. Picnic for Parrots demonstrates this so beautifully and I really don't have anything bad to say about this.

Thank you for putting this beautiful book out there into the world.

meredithjk - on Barnes & Noble

*5 stars - Telephone For Feathered Friends!

This story is absolutely delightful, filled with a "sweet" story about a parrot picnic! The communication is silly and made my kiddos laugh. The sentiment and lessons are rich and layered; the illustrations top notch. All personality types are represented and we see team work, creative foods (my kids really want to make pineapple cupcakes with kiwi cream icing!), and reconnection - something we all can look forward to following a pandemic. As with her other stories, Allison Sojka brings to life characters with fantastic personalities, pairs an adorable tale with lessons for learning, and keeps children engaged. Can't recommend it enough!

✔ Yes, I recommend this product.

Mgoblirsch - on Goodreads

*5 stars - I love reading my children stories with a good message, and Picnic for Parrots did not disappoint! My 3-year-old twins actually sat still for the whole story, which is not an easy feat! I enjoyed the rhythm and rhymes of the story, and from an educational perspective, I appreciated the creative words used which enhance my children’s vocabulary. My kiddos also loved the brightly-colored pictures, and my 5-year-old thought the birds’ mix-ups were so silly and hilarious. Definitely a fun read for us all!

Molly Cluff (Library!) - on Goodreads

*3 stars - A group of parrots essentially play a game of "telephone" trying to communicate the type of cupcake the red parrot wants. Part of me was confused why the red parrot didn't just grab his own cupcake. The concept was funny but the rhyme scheme felt unnatural in places and the art was a bit over-simplified for me. I liked all the green, though.

Shelly - on Goodreads

*5 stars - This is such a delightful story with fun illustrations! My children love it!

Steven S - on Amazon

*5 stars - Parrots, desserts, and picnics... a perfect combination!

My daughter wanted to read this book everyone night for a week after we got it. I make the parrots squawk differently every time I read it and she loves it. I love the simple illustrations, colors, and creative combinations of foods! A great read for any child.

Ebook Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140314
  • 40 pages
  • $7.99
Hardcover Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140307
  • 40 pages
  • $15.99
Paperback Details
  • 02/2021
  • 9781736140321
  • 40 pages
  • $8.99