But we also like his book Harry's Mad, about a boy who inherits a parrot with unique linguistic abilities as well as a talent for British-style crosswords and American-style cooking.
"What's the clue?"According to Wikipedia, Harry's Mad was also made into a television series which we've never seen, so maybe this book is better known than I think. In any case, have a look at the library--it's something that should appeal to the 8-to-12-year-olds.
"'Cat in spite of being a bird.'"
There was a moment's silence, and then, "It's an anagram, Mr. Holdsworth, sir," said Madison in a respectful voice. "'Psittacine.' Means, 'belonging to the parrot family.' You want me to spell it for you?"