Author: Rudge, Leila
Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world--until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.
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Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/01/16)
School Library Journal (10/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2016 Most of the time, Gary—a stout gray pigeon in a stocking cap—is just like the rest of his flock. He pecks at seeds. He scrapbooks and dreams of faraway places. You know, pigeon stuff. But on racing days, he gets left behind at their loft—because Gary can’t fly. One evening as Gary records the adventures of his sporty brethren (dressed in jerseys and sweatbands) in his scrapbook, the flightless pigeon tumbles into the racers’ travel basket. He awakens the next morning far from home, having accidentally been taken to a race! It’s up to Gary to navigate his way through the city on foot, but luckily his scrapbook sets him on the right path with its maps and travel notes. Finally, an adventure of his very own! Mixed-media illustrations favor pigeon blues and grays and offer cutaway views of Gary’s loft and a two-page spread mapping his route home. Gary proves a savvy and resourceful bird, and it’s refreshing to see his character embrace adventure rather than simply wish for the ability to fly. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2016 PreS-Gr 2—Gary is a racing pigeon who cannot fly. But he has a positive attitude. While the other racing pigeons are off on their adventures, Gary keeps busy working on a travel scrapbook. It includes information that he overhears about the exploits of the other racing pigeons. The artwork is endearing. The bird wears a little blue knit cap, while the racing pigeons don jerseys. Gary's luck changes when he accidentally falls into the racing pigeons' travel basket with his scrapbook. The other pigeons end up in the basket, too. But when they fly back home, Gary is stranded in the city alone. Readers will root for Gary, the underdog. He is able to save himself thanks to his scrapbook, which he uses to navigate his way home. Illustrations work beautifully with the text, establishing a lighthearted tone. The other pigeons in their red and gray jerseys are perched on the wall, welcoming him back. The narrative ends with an explanation that life returns to normal except that sometimes the other racing pigeons go on bus rides with Gary. Although not unique, this title has broad appeal. Parents, teachers, and librarians will love the message that it's OK to be different. VERDICT A solid choice for a storytime or one-on-one sharing.—Robin Sofge, Alexandria Library, VA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.