|Pax and Blue
Author: Richmond, Lori
A little boy forms an unlikely friendship with a pigeon who knows what it's like to be small.
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/16)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2016 Everyone could use a friend to share some toast with, and for Blue the pigeon that person is a young boy named Pax. Each morning on his way to school, Pax stops to talk to Blue and give the bird a bite of breakfast, because he understands how hard being little can be. One day, their routine is interrupted when Pax’s mother ushers him past the pigeon and into the subway, without a moment to explain. Confused, Blue follows his friend down the stairs and onto the train, which is soon aflutter with panicked passengers uncharitably shouting “Ick!” and “Yuck!” Luckily, Pax knows just the trick for saving his feathered friend. Richmond’s sweet illustrations utilize ink, charcoal, and pigeon-appropriate slate-purple watercolors to form simple, cartoonlike scenes. Messages such as “you don’t leave a friend behind” give the gentle story purpose, and youngsters will connect with the idea of helping those smaller than they—particularly if it’s a cute animal. Pair this with Leila Rudge’s Gary (2016) for another endearing city-pigeon adventure. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 PreS-K—A child, a friendly pigeon, the great big city, and a very busy mom set the stage for grand adventures on the subway. Pax visits his friend Blue, a pigeon, each morning with a bit of toast. But one morning, Pax's mom is in a rush and Pax walks right by Blue. What is a pigeon supposed to do but follow his best friend? Blue finds himself in a horrifying situation—he is lost on the subway and the humans are upset! Luckily, Pax is there to save the day and help Blue along his way. Bold, dark lines and washes of color in ink and watercolor bring a jolly tone to even the scariest moments. Small clues lead readers to think that the child lives in New York City, but the crowd scenes have a muted watercolor wash over the people and seem to obscure the diversity of the city. The climax of the narrative is an expressive close-up of Blue's face when the bird realizes the problem—humans do not like pigeons on the subway. This scene is a full spread that will delight storytime crowds. This is a simple but exhilarating adventure for the child, the bird, and readers. VERDICT This charming tale in which the importance of friendship lights the way back aboveground to safety is a solid addition to younger storytime collections.—Karen Ginman, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.