Sunday, May 15, 2016
The Real Poop on Pigeons, written and illustrated by Kevin McCloskey. A Toon Book, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $18.95 ages 4 and up
You're being SILLY!
Pigeons eat seeds and
... and they find LOTS
of them in the TRASH!
pigeons carried ... "
Following up on his success with We Dig Worms, Kevin McCloskey creates another very appealing graphic plea for understanding when it comes to the pigeon. Many of us have a preconceived notion about their worth, in the same vein as the man we meet on this book's first page. He is eager to rid the area of the pigeons at his feet. He may like birds, but not these ones.
To their rescue, and with the pigeons' best interests in mind, a 'flock' of costumed children make themselves and their learning known. While they may make a mess, the children assure that there is much to be admired about the work that pigeons do. They let the man, his companion and we readers know that pigeons have many accomplishments ... they are fast flyers, they are the epitome of the designation 'airmail' as they were mail carriers long before the airplane.
Much research has been done prior to penning this new book. Mr. McCloskey shares a history of the pigeon, their family background, the difference between mating (which they do for life) and breeding (which is done to them to create new varieties). In clearly drawn artwork, he labels the pigeon's body, shares the variety of breeds there are, and connects them to historical figures - Queen Victoria and Pablo Picasso to be exact. The children go on to explain that some people even cook and eat them. Finally, they provide fascinating information about 'pigeon milk'.
What a terrific way to help children learn about a familiar bird from an urban environment, and to put aside some of the misconceptions about them! To add to the fun, Mr. McCloskey leaves his readers with a hint at what we might expect from him next ... I wonder???