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

Sunday 30 June 2019

Review: Pippa

Pippa the pigeon is audacious and impulsive.  

She is young therefore over-protected. 

She longs to test her wings and fly free. On a day when her parents are away, her daring and challenge compel her to explore the world beyond the nest.

Once she takes flight, there is no stopping her. 

Oblivious to dangers, she flies far away without realizing the distance she has covered until exhaustion and hunger remind her.

But those who prey on the young and vulnerable lie in wait. And so it is for Pippa. She escapes the first danger to be confronted by a second. Her only recourse is to head for home. But which direction is home?

Led by her senses, she powers up and with stars lighting her way, returns to where she belongs.

Pippa has in her what all young people have – the longing to spread their wings and discover what is beyond the boundaries of safety and seeming limitation. She reflects the fearlessness and invincibility that comes with youth.

She is also inspiring and courageous, showing that we must try to do or be what we fear; to overcome, and test our courage.

Andrew Plant’s illustrative ability never fails to impress. His immersive skills produce a brilliance that embraces the text and encompasses the entire book. Colour speaks loudly here and the large images of Pippa, the falcon and the fox are magnificent. The paddocks and hills are full of light as we get a bird’s-eye-view of the surrounding area. The trunk of the tree, and the branch from which Pippa launches, is full of life.

The design of the text, swirling, dipping, pointed, made up of short and sharp sentences and powerful verbs, intensify the tension and fear experienced by Pippa. 

The end pages are coloured shadows of floating feathers which are enveloped by a stunning cover.

Dimity Powell’s talent is never in question for she delights in chasing and choosing the perfect words to deliver to the reader, the message she intends to convey. This is perhaps Powell’s best work yet, but is surely neck-to-neck with the SCBWI 2019 Crystal Kite Award Winner, At the End of Holyrood Lane.

Title: Pippa
Author: Dimity Powell
Illustrator: Andrew Plant
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, $24.95
Publication Date:  July 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925804263
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book