OK, OK, OKKKKK!!! Pigeons!?! Seriously? A book about pigeons? I mean…pigeons!!! Aren’t they just rats with wings? Heck no! Pigeons can fly faster than car and father than a small airplane! They’ve played a vital role in history. Heck, even Picasso named his daughter after them!
Kevin McCloskey, author of We Dig Worms, comes back to Toon Books with well-researched facts, sense of humor, and fun visual style to tell us about…pigeons. Kevin tells us the story of pigeons through a group of young children in pigeon costumes who learned all they needed to know in P.S. 101 (pigeon school 101) as they correct our misconceptions about the wonder of pigeons. Yes pigeons. And yes one of the characters even calls them rats with wings. But after reading this book, you’re likely to reconsider your stance. At least on all pigeons. Because pigeons have had a vital role in our history, from bringing us our mail to being used during the war to deliver important messages to just helping us better understand the world around us. Having kids dressed as pigeons is a fun way to deliver facts and help correct misconceptions that readers, both young and old, are likely to have about the birds.
Kevin painted each image in the book, yes painted, on pigeon-blue Fabriano paper, that gives the illustrations a much different feel. While blue would normally be used for a somber mood, the blue here is more…lively. More like the pale blue of the sky on an early spring day, just as you start to notice the animal young around you. It also allows Kevin to show different details than he normally would. By using blue paper, he’s able to paint white pigeons, allowing some of the blue to show through to give it a sense of depth and life that he would have been unable to do with other colors of paper. The illustrations are lively and the characters are fun to follow around as they talk about pigeons, in their pigeon costumes. My favorite page is actually the last page though, where one of the characters learning about pigeons decides squirrels are the bad ones instead. And we see him saying this in the background where some young children are seated on the swing set dressed in…what else? Squirrel costumes. I really hope Kevin does a book about squirrels next because that would be awesome.
This fun little book gives readers a chance to learn more about pigeons and how they aren’t quite as ugly as one might think. In fact, some of them can be downright fancy. While this book doesn’t contain enough information to do a full report on pigeons, it does contain enough to give readers a sense of where to start looking for information and to start changing their perception on what they think. Recommended for collection for K-2 grade.
Review copy provided by Toon Books