Ford St, 2019
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95
Pippa the pigeon thinks she is ready to fly the skies by herself and have adventures. Rather than being hesitant to go out of her comfort zone, Pippa wants to experience the world for herself. But her parents have other ideas. They are worried she is too young and do all sorts of things to keep her at home and safe . But one day while they are out foraging for food, she flaps her wings and soars. Over the town, the river and the paddocks she sails, going further and further from home. But then fatigue and hunger set in and she discovers that while this big wide world is beautiful there are perils in it! Will she make it home safely?
A tender tale about parents wanting to keep their children safe, this is a story that cuts through the middle of parental protection and childish curiosity. Our children need to be allow to fly; they need to face and conquer the obstacles they encounter if they are to be resourceful and resilient, but they also need to know there is a soft place to fall when it all gets too much.
Dimity Powell has created a story that reflects both the parents’ perspective and that of Pippa – offering much to talk about as readers think about what they would like to do, whether they are ready and what they might learn as they try. It’s about striking a balance between independence and the security of home and Andrew Plant’s illustrations are perfect. Who wouldn’t be terrified seeing the face of the falcon coming towards you or those malevolent red eyes glowing in the dark?
As our young readers go through a number of stages where their desire for independence becomes overwhelming, this is a book that spans many age groups and there are excellent teaching notes which support this sort of use. Perfect for teaching about being prepared, being resilient and being able to overcome obstacles without panicking.