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The Talking Parcel

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  480 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Three children befriend an unusual parrot and spider and travel with them to Mythologia, the magical land of mythical animals, to try and save it from being taken over by the evil Cockatrices. (Also published under the Battle of the Castle Cockatrice.)
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
My grandmother gave me this book: a discard from the high school library she worked at for many years. I began writing a sequel in fifth grade to satisfy my longing to envelop myself in the land of Mythologia (I never got past the third chapter). One of the main characters is a talking parrot whose job is to read all the words in the Dictionary once a year so that they don't disappear (words disappear ::poof:: if they're not given an airing regularly). I think what really gets me about this book ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Three cousins meet a Parrot who asks them to help him deal with a cockatrice uprising in the hidden land of Mythologia.

This is a pleasant, fun adventure for younger kids. There isn't much sense of danger and little character development. If you're familiar with Durrell, it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's more interested in describing animals and being funny than in the plot or the people.

Durrell loves animals. Even imaginary animals. Even imaginary animals who are jerks.
Rézina Dějová
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tohle je možná moje nejmilejší knížka z dětství, nebo rozhodně jedna z nich. Zároveň jde podle mě o jednu z nejlepších dětských fantasy vůbec - a to pro svojí neotřelost (ne, tady elfové ani trpaslíci nejsou) a laskavý smysl pro humor.
Parta dětí se vydává zachránit ukrytou zemi Mytologie, kde potká mj. hysterickou dračici, sklerotického kouzelníka, bazilišky a zažije při tom spoustu dobrodružství. České vydání nádherně ilustroval pan Adolf Born a rozhodně stojí za zapátrání po antikvariátech -
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun! Three cousins find a talking parcel, open it and discover the land a parrot who could really talk with an extensive vocabulary, and his pet talking spider. They are asked by the parrot to come to Mythologia and help save the land from the nasty cockatrices. They find Mythologia a delightful place, make many friends, and plan a way to save Mythologia. Do they succeed? Read and find out! Absolutely delightful story!!!
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books of my childhood. So many paintings were inspired by this book, I loved the mythologic world...
The Talking Parcel is a nonsensical ramble of a story about two children who go to Greece (because why not), meet their cousin, find a box in the ocean, and open it to find a talking parrot. They then go on magical train ride (the train also talks) to a magical country that had been conquered by disagreeable magical creatures. There, they must help the good magical denizens overthrow their disagreeable overlords.

It is very much in the vein of the Oz books, as it emphasizes whimsy and humor over
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Občas sem dám i knížky, které zrovna čteme s dětmi, a zrovna Mluvící balík sem patří rozhodně, protože jsem si ho po letech zase užila. Líbil se mi v dětství, kdy jsem o něm dokonce měla i jakýsi referát na literaturu. A líbil se mi i teď, vyzobala jsem si v něm i věci, které mi určitě jako dítěti unikaly. Obdivuju Durrelův smysl pro humor a jeho nezměrnou fantazii. Čte se jedna báseň, ehm, tedy jedna pohádka. Pět všemi deseti, Papouš a spol. jsou geniální! Děti nadšené stejně jako my dospělí.
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe I found this book! I remember reading this when I was about 10 years old, but then I could never find it at the library again. I was convinced that I has created a memory of a book that didn't really exist. I will definitely use this book in my is a great fantasy book!
Vít Kotačka
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, british
Parádní čtení pro děti - Durell má fantazie na rozdávání. Vlastně jsem měl od dětsví Durella zafixovaného jako autora knížek a pořadů o zvířatech, takže mě tento pohádkový příběh příjemně překvapil.

Příběh je celkem přímočarý a (pro dospělého) není až tak zajímavý, respektive (subjektivně) druhořadý. Co hraje první housle, je svět Mytologie, plný dětsky rozpustilé představivosti, marnotratně hýřící nápady, kdy běžné věci, jako slunce, mraky, nebo tráva můžou mít netradiční barvy. Určitě si sami v
Alfreda Morrissey
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best children's stories I have read in a long time. It was beautifully narrated by Kayray reads to you.

It is a journey to another land book, where the new land has different laws of physics. The descriptions of Mythologia are delightfully clever. There are some crazy ideas kind of like Willie Wonka's Chocolate factory, or Alice's wonderland, but they all kind of make sense at the same time, due to the magic. The rules of magic, seem to be consistent throughout. The children ar
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-leí este libro porque recordaba que era el favorito de mi infancia. Lo encontré en una feria del libro, lo leí y no recordaba naaada asi que lo disfruté como si fuera la primera vez. Es chistoso que fuera escrito en los 70 y el protagonista son dos niños y una niña en un mundo fantástico con un mago y muchos animales mitológicos (¿les suena?).
Me encantó cómo está escrito, el ritmo, la aventura, los personajes que aparecen. Súper diferente a como lo recordaba pero con un par de cosas que se qu
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fue un buen viaje andar por Mitología, un placer conocer a Loro -el guardián de las palabras-, andar por el mar músical y acompañar a los chicos por las demás aventuras. Me gusta la narrativa de Durrell, como utiliza a los animales para construir con ellos analogías, y entablar así enseñanzas. Además me es interesante su biografía, como su aficción por el mundo animal lo hizo lograr tener su zoologico personal. Quiero leer más de él en definitiva.
Bára Jelínková
Nejprve jsem viděla operu bří Formanů "Čarokraj", která byla inscenována na motivy právě této knihy. Moc se mi líbila, ale některé části příběhu jsem dokonale nepochopila, a tak jsem se rozhodla přečíst si i předlohu. Knížka je kouzelná a místy velmi vtipná (obzvláště postava Ropušáka)... asi budu číst dětské knihy častěji :)
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Does it get better?
A parrot who is the Keeper of Words finds himself kidnapped by the Toads and thrown in the river.
Fortune smiles on the pair (he travels with his spider-housekeeper Dulcibelle) as they are found by three spirited and helpful children.
The five journey back to save Mythologia.
Lovely lovely lovely.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece! This was one of my favs when I was little. I am a grown-up now but it is a great adventure I love repeating. Unfortunately, it hasn't been translated in many languages. I hope it will be.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh yes, this used to be my book when growing up. I read at least twice a year, I knew the story, but I still enjoyed it!
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, 1988
Hace unos días, mi amiga Sara me comentaba que estaba deseando que sus hijos crecieran un poco para leerles "El paquete parlante", de Gerald Durrell. Mi primer Durrell fue "Mi familia y otros animales", con el que me lo pasé de muerte, y a ése le siguieron otros de la misma saga. "El paquete parlante" lo descubrí después, ya con quince años, y me pareció tan divertido como todo lo que había leído de Durrell (que creo que es prácticamente todo). Este libro en concreto está dirigido al público inf ...more
4.5 stars

I love Gerald Durrell's nonfiction work, but I think this little book shows that his fictional children's literature is just as good. The Battle for Castle Cockatrice is a childhood favorite that I still loved revisiting. It has an amazing, creative world that I wish I could live in, a motley crew of colorful characters, and even a generous helping of humor.

The story follows the adventures of Peter, Simon, and Penelope, three cousins who find an unusually talkative parcel on the bea
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
The book I read was named "The battle for castle cockatrice".

Penelope and her cousins Simon & Peter finds a talking parcel by the beach. They find "The Parrot" who is the "keeper of words" in Mythologia-- a place created by magician H.H for mythical beings. The children decide to help the parrot save mythologia from the cockatrices...

I liked the book.Great imagination and excellent description.Maybe I would've loved it more if I didn't have high expectations and also if I had read the book w
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Dcera by si přála další takovou knížku, ptala se, zda existuje Mluvící balík II. Máte někdo doporučení? :)
Maria Marshall
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: children-chapter
This book is amazing and will challenge even the vocabulary of adults reading it. Although briefly out of print, it can be found on Amazon. (ISBN 978-0064407809) I have given a copy to my niece and nephew, as well as a number of friends. A parrot, the keeper of the words, has to use every word in the dictionary within a year (or the word disappears). It is really fun, not to mention having a water gun fight to save the castle! One of our favorite books.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently managed to get hold of a copy of this, well two actually as I really want my nephew to love this book when he gets older. Its just a lovely as I imagine and a great book for stretching vocabulary and having fun with words - thanks to the parrot raised by a dictionary! Its fun, engaging and full of quirky characters that you enjoy reading about. I really do hope its one that gets brought back into print sometime or at least is made available on the Kindle.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Finally managed to get hold of a copy of this after years and years spent looking for it! It was a childhood favourite borrowed time and again from the school library, and even though it is definitely a children's book, it hasn't lost any magic for me reading it now as an adult.

A funny, imaginative and inventive book which can't fail to entice young readers whilst also dramatically expanding their vocabulary!
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a cute story. i admit it is a bit slow at times but it is amusing and quaint. the fairy tale creatures and the world they live in is one i wouldn't mind visiting. it takes me back to a time when things are a bit more innocent and the dangers faced may be life-threatening but i never once feared that good wouldn't triumph over the bad.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well-worth the re-read. Just as enchanting as I remember it being, as well as perhaps being more bizarre. What a great fantasy world Durrell created, and what a great heroine in Penelope. Glad I found my old copy and get the chance to re-live one of my favourite childhood books!
Agnes Katou
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Մանկության գիրք :Ճ
Նույնիսկ տիտղոսաթերթի վրայի նկարներն էի հիշում:
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Muy bonito, me alegró muchas veces el día.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the first fantasy(ish) books I read. I found it in the library in grade four. I'd love to find a copy of it and read it again.
Oct 29, 2010 is currently reading it
so far this book is really good
Mary López
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un excelente libro que sin duda me recuerda mi infancia.
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Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with wry humour and great perception about both the humans ...more
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“—Estos unicornios son todos iguales —comentó Loro con tristeza—­, más vanidosos que un pavo. Dales un espejo, o simplemente cualquier cosa en la que puedan verse reflejados, y se quedan como hipnotizados.

—Pero éste no es más que un niño —dijó Penélope—, y hay que reconocer que es realmente guapo.”
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