Out now! Special 20th Anniversary Edition, with a new short story featuring the witch, Dragwena, Morpeth and many of your favourite characters.

Out now! The Special Edition, including a new story featuring the witch, Dragwena.

When her gran dies, Jess inherits Twigs - a talking cockatoo. Huge and hilarious, Twigs is Jess's best

friend and, now she's starting at a new school, Jess needs a friend more than ever.


But - Squawwwwk! - Twigs is noisy, and he's pushing Jess's dad to breaking point. Jess promised her

gran she'd take care of Twigs, but can she make the new friends she needs to save the bird she loves?


A story about the power of friendship.


Read chapter 1

'Can you love a mad, screechy bird?’

Child hiding eyes with cockatoo screeching loudly

The heart-warming answer, it seems, is that we can love anything.


I was trawling the internet when I came by chance across film of a pet Moluccan Cockatoo screeching non-stop. Moluccans are huge birds, and so noisy that I wondered how anyone could stand them.


And then I wondered what would happen if a girl ended up having to look after such a bird?

What would their friendship be like? And, if that friendship became deep enough, what if her father decided he couldn’t live with the bird any longer? How strongly would she fight for him?


Just as in GOING HOME, I wanted to write a funny and tender animal story where the power of true friendship overcomes everything. At the same time, I tried to keep TWIGS as real as I could. I didn’t give him human thoughts and feelings. He remains truly a bird, and only a bird. But what a bird! Moluccan Cockatoos may be insanely noisy, but they’re extremely smart. They’re fiercely loyal to their owners, too, and can be incredibly affectionate. And Moluccans have other very human-like traits. They can dance. They sing and they mimic. And, unlike dogs and cats, they live almost as long as us. Even their hearts beat at the same slow steady rate as a human heart. With their endless noisiness, their constant chatter, to me Moluccan Cockatoos seem very human indeed.


Is TWIGS the worst pet in the world? Or is he the most loving animal you could ever meet? I’ll let you decide.


Illustrations from the novel