In Gary the end papers are presented as a scrapbook. Gary has been collecting maps, tickets, envelopes, stamps and postcards. Gary, a pigeon, longs for adventure but sadly he cannot fly. Straightaway I saw a link with Somewhere else by Gus Gordon and coincidentally both of these Australian books have been nominated for our CBCA 2017 award.
Gary also reminds me of Peggy. After spending many years at home, in this case in the company of racing pigeons, Gary (like Peggy) finds himself transported into the city. Following his maps, memorabilia and instincts Gary must find his way home on foot and by public transport.
Gary is also a little like Louise in Louise, the adventures of a chicken another book about the need for an adventurous life.
Pigeons are such delightful characters when they star in a picture book. Notice the little racing outfits added by Leila Rudge. We have ten picture books in our school library about pigeons including one of my favourites How to heal a broken wing by Bob Graham.
I was excited to see Kirkus gave Gary a star review. Here is a set of teaching notes and questions.
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.