'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Monday, 9 May 2016

Review: Gary

Gary is a pigeon. A pigeon amongst pigeons. Racing pigeons, more accurately. And most of the time, he's pretty indistinguishable from the others ... he eats, sleeps and dreams of adventure, just like his racing mates.

Gary likes to keep a scrapbook of adventures and travel mementos, but sadly, these mementos are not his own. They are the stories of his fellow racing pigeons, because, you see ... Gary cannot fly.

Already heartbreaking!

When a small mishap sees Gary inadvertently join his friends on a racing adventure, our little flightless charge ends up finding himself somewhat lost in the Big Smoke. But, using his scrapbooks as reference, he soon finds his way ... with the most unexpected outcome of teaching his fellow flying friends a thing or two about perspective.

This is a gorgeous book from one of my favourite creators. Even in the story's brevity, we feel an enormous connection to the divine little pigeon soul that is Gary (and his sweet-as-pie beanie). We admire his passion and zest for life, even as his life is somewhat limited ... but of course, only in the physical sense.

Gary is not only a story about perspective, it's about attitude, positivity and the importance of allowing the imagination to take flight at regular intervals. Preferably really regularly.

Leila's illustrations are typically divine, with her superb colour palettes (so important!), luscious texture and whimsical characters, lending mood and meaning to her storyline.

A fabulous picture book for sheer at-home enjoyment, but a priceless resource for teachers and librarians, as they bridge the gap between the 'abled' and 'disabled' parts of children's inner and outer worlds, and help harness the unlimited wonder of honing the imagination.

Title: Gary
Author/Illustrator: Leila Rudge
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 May 2016
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781925081695
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book

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