The Book Report: Jennifer L. Knox on “All About Parakeets”


The Book Report is a reading series that promises to deliver exactly what it promises: reports on books by the people who’ve read them. Join hosts Leigh Stein and Sasha Fletcher on Tuesday, October 8th for an evening that will remind you of 3rd grade in the best possible way. 7pm, The Gallery at LPR, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC.

All About Parakeets
a book report by Jennifer L. Knox

The book I read was All About Parakeets, written by Mrs. Mildred Rimper and published in 1957 by A. L. Sortz and Sons of Erie, Pennsylvania. The book jacket states that Mrs. Rimper was a quote life-long lover of parakeets unquote. FYI : Parakeet loving is known as Avisodomy and is a Class A misdemeanor according to New York State Law.

The book is divided into three parts: origins of parakeets, biology of parakeets, and fun facts about parakeets which seems very reasonable to me.



Parakeets were invented ten thousand years ago by the aboriginal inhabitants of Australia who were searching for a lighter, more portable type of harmonica. Despite their refusal to count higher than the number 3, Australian aborigines were an industrious people whose other discoveries included the root canal, yodeling and roasted sunflower seeds.

The first generation of parakeets thrived on the aborigines’ extensive sunflower seed crops. The flock quadrupled in size and soon revolution was in the air. Hydrochloric acid in the parakeets’ spit proved fatal to the aborigines. Survivors packed their bags and took their show on the road, where they’ve been on tour ever since.

With full run of the continent, parakeets developed more schemes. Boats arrived from Europe, dropped off prisoners and sailed away. Parakeets got the idea from orchids to release clouds of their mysterious pheromones into the faces of the sailors, which made the sailors want to take them back to Europe. This crucial decision was the turning point of the war, and eventually made parakeets the ruling bird of air, land, and sea.



Parakeets are a member of the Budgerigar family. Their Latin name comes from the aboriginal term “buggerier” meaning “Do you ever shut up? Jesus Christ! Seriously!” Parakeets’ hooked bills beaks allow them to husk seeds, open cans and spear olives more efficiently than regular kitchen tools.

Parakeets come in every color: yellow, green, white, blue, purple, red, pink, black, orange and even transparent—like this: [show illustration of budgerigar invisibilis].

Parakeets have two sound pipes: high notes on one side, and low notes on the other, and they can mingle the notes in a special chamber hidden in their chest.

Parakeets like all parrots have two toes in the front and one in the back, which would make them excellent swimmers if they were so inclined.

Parakeets have an extra cell in their eyes which allows them to see in the ultra violet spectrum. If you hold a parakeet under a black light, it looks like a tiny kabuki actor, but they look attractive to each other, and take each other seriously.

An extra cell in their ears enables parakeets to hear in the Chromatic Modal Scale, which has made parakeets some of the most famous sitar composers in India.

Parakeets have extra stripes, extra feathers, extra eye cells, extras ear cells, and so much more. Parakeet parakeet parakeet!



Lord Byron always kept several parakeets in his bathrobe at all times, and never left home without two in a cage he had installed inside his hat.

Guinness Book of World Records states that in 1958 a budgie named Sparkie Williams won a talking contest in Boston. Before the budgerigar died, he could sing all thirty eight verses of Koombaya.

President Dwight Eisenhower’s parakeet, Eisenhower Jr., was the model for the B-29 Superfortress bomber.

The voice of R2D2 was played by a parakeet. The voice of R2D2’s mother was played by Angela Lansbury.

If you steal an egg from a parakeet nest and plant it, a kumquat tree will grow.



I liked this book because it taught me a lot about a topic on which I was formerly completely and totally ignorant. Being a naturally curious person, I enjoy growing more and more and more intelligent on a daily basis.

I think Mrs. Rimper was a kind but sad person. I think this because she’s crying in her photo on the book jacket, and trying to feed a kitten ice cream at the same time. I think Mrs. Rimper did this because she must not’ve had any kids. She might’ve tried waiting until the ice cream melted, and using a cat mouth sized spoon.

Photo: Alexa Vachon

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