Before I start my review, apologies to those who have been waiting for reviews on the book week books, sometimes work life gets busy and blog life has to wait. Am glad to be back posting today though. I hope all of you that did celebrate book week had a blast, I saw a heap of creative costumes out there and lots of people being engaged with the written word.
Gary – Text & Illustrations by Leila Rudge
Published by Walker Books
Date: 1 May 2016
Gary received Honours in the category Book of the Year: Early Childhood and I agree that it totally deserves to be mentioned. The winner, Go Home, Cheeky Animals! and Gary couldn’t be any more different, both telling unique and engaging stories but their illustrations completely opposite.
The author/illustrator Leila Rudge has used many clean lines in her illustrations, where as Dion Beasley who illustrated Go Home, Cheeky Animals! were more child like and adventurous in nature. Both equally fitting for their stories.
Gary is a racing pigeon, but he isn’t like the other racing pigeons because he cannot fly. He does however keep mementos and stories of the other pigeons travels in his scrapbook. When one night Gary slips into the travel basket with his scrapbook he ends up on going on an unexpected journey. Despite the excitement of being able to explore the city Gary is worried he may not make it home. The one thing that can cheer him up is his scrapbook which turns out to be the one thing that helps get him home.
This book has a beautiful message about differences, and not giving up. Gary didn’t give up, his knowledge from keeping his scrapbook helped him find his way home. Sometimes our challenges in our life can be strengths if only we allow ourselves to use our imagination. Gary’s strength is his scrapbook, his ability to keep a record of things and despite his challenge of not being able to fly he was still able to have wonderful adventures.
Sometimes the journey is hard, but keep being yourself because “…on some days…The other pigeons were just like Gary.”