Monday, October 26, 2015

The Pigeon Express - a bookwrap

Picture this...

What if pigeons were like us?   What if they were doctors, teachers,  bakers, CEO's, construction workers or even lawyers?   What if they rode the subway system daily, dressed to the hilt and heading for work, just like you?  This is what this quirky little book is all about. It's a typical day in the London Underground.... it's an eye-witness account... well here... let me tell you about it...


Authored by Juanita Clearwater

Illustrated by Thomas yen-wen-Hsieh

Unwrapping some of the illustrations for you to enjoy...

My review...

The setting is London, England aboard a subway train:

"As I was going down to Greenwich on the Underground,
the train doors opened at London Bridge Station...but there was no one around!"   

What an interesting opening to invite you into the story! A young female passenger looked all around and finally found the reason for the doors opening.  A pigeon nonchalantly climbed aboard, dressed in fancy work gear, brazenly looked her straight in the eye, braced his feet, and they were off.  He had trouble adjusting to the motion as the train sped up.  Luckily he found some crumbs on the floor and pecked them clean alleviating his awkwardness.  

He exited at Canary Wharf station and just vanished... poof...  oh my!! Where could that little fellow have vaporized to?  The girl looked all around but could not find a trace of him.  Yes he did indeed just disappear into thin air. 

The girl had time to reflect on what she had witnessed as she still had some time left to travel. She  thought and thought of explanations of why this pigeon would want to use the train system rather than fly like normal pigeons do.  

Did pigeons go to school and take the class, "Train Riding 101" so they would be savvy train travellers she mused?  What were the pros and cons of hitching a ride on the subway as opposed to flying under their own wing-power?  Mmmmmm....could they read and interpret the London Underground map to help them accurately find their destinations?  Wonder if those birds knew what , "Mind the Gap" meant?  That made her giggle to even think about.  Well she saw what she saw.  It was strange,  so strange that she wrote this book about it and we are glad that she did.  

The illustrations are colourful and bold.  Kids will love the expressions and antics of the pigeon as he weathers his ride in the notorious London Underground.  It is written in rhyme which all kids love. Playful language will hook your kids right from the get-go.

The author challenges you at the end of the story to keep a watchful eye out for random pigeons, as they just might become the new passengers to ride the Pigeon Express Train in the future.  Maybe pigeons are smarter than we think. I bet they are.  What do you think?

About the author...

Juanita was the third born of seven children in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1962. She married, moved to Christchurch and had four sons and one daughter. She entertained her young children with stories that she wrote and illustrated herself. The Pigeon Express is the first of her books to be published. We look forward to more wonderful children's stories from this author.

The URL for Juanita's author page is:

Read on and read always!

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